Thankful for the Life We Live

The heart of Thanksgiving should beat beyond the holiday

WASHINGTON — ‘What are you thankful for?’ is a common question this time of year. While most would prefer to get straight to the turkey, it is important that we pause to reflect on the many blessings that have shaped our lives.

In today’s America, it seems at times Thanksgiving has become only an appetizer to the main course – Black Friday. Even the gift-giving reason for the post-turkey day discount shopping extravaganza seems to have turned into a competition where the earliest bird gets the best new gadget. While it’s easy to give into society’s salivation for sales, let us remember to reflect on our lives and give thanks.

For those of us who have earned the title of veteran, we know all too well the sacrifice of being deployed during the holidays. Whether we were sitting with our shipmates in a cramped mess deck, standing in line in the cold waiting for chow, or exchanging disapproving glances as we peered down at our MREs, we all felt the same pangs of missing our families and loved ones on the other side of the world, but standing watch all the same.

This Thanksgiving let’s put thoughtful thanks back into the holiday … thanks for the opportunities we’ve been afforded, thanks to the generations of veterans who have sacrificed for our freedom, and thanks to the men and women currently serving around the world who will spend this holiday far from the comforts of home so that we may comfortably celebrate with family and friends.

From the more than 1.4 million members of the VFW and Auxiliary family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!