I'm 36 years old and I don't think I've ever properly thanked my grandfather for the sacrifices that he made in his early 20s that affect me today. It's shameful and something that I'm not proud of at all. I've thought about stopping and writing a letter, but life got in the way. No excuse is a good one in this situation. So this year, today, I'm stopping for a moment to let him know that I am forever grateful for the dedication he showed to his country.
Dear Paw Paw B.,
There have been many moments over the years that I've wanted to stop and tell you thank you for everything you did during World War II to fight for my freedom. But, I wasn't sure how to bring it up. You never were one to share a whole lot of details about what you experienced, and I don't blame you for that at all. But, I think you need to be thanked for all that you did.
In your early 20s, you put your life on hold, willing to give the ultimate sacrifice. I know it wasn't something that you chose, but you loved your country enough to fulfill your obligation. You left your home, your family, and everything that was familiar, to go to the unfamiliar and fight a battle that was not your own, but one that you embraced with finality. When everyone at home was tucked warm in their beds, you were away, keeping watch.
I'll never know what you really saw and what you really did, but that isn't important. What is important is that you took a job that was much bigger than you and did it well. Thank you for your sacrifice and for answering the call to put your country first.
Because of your sacrifice, I now have choices. Choices in where I live, how I worship, the job that I now have. I chose the school I attended, the car I drive, and the little luxuries along the way. No one tells me what I have to do because of what you and many others did.
Thank you for fighting for your freedom and for mine. I'm sorry it's taken me this long to thank you. But know, that I love you for it more than you could ever know.
So, today, I'm most thankful to be the granddaughter of a decorated World War II Veteran. Thanks Paw Paw!