Obviously, we’re a family deeply rooted in the military. In fact, I’ve looked it up and as far back as I can track it, there has never been a generation of Laniers (since the 1400s it appears) that hasn’t served in the military. That’s pretty amazing.
My son says he’s a little embarrassed when someone comes up to him and thanks him for serving. He says that, after all, he’s still only part way through his 14-month training program. He hasn’t been in battle. He hasn’t put his life on the line. But he’s wrong. He DOES deserve that thank you. He’s there training so that someone else can go put his or her life on the line today. He’s sacrificing precious time away from his wife and three children to dedicate a whole lot of time and what could ultimately be his own life for very little pay and little recognition.
I’m proud to say my family has served this country in every war as well as in times of peace. I might not always agree with the wars or want the men and women to be in the midst of conflicts without clear objectives – but I’m proud of them for standing up and making a sacrifice every day.
I’m also very proud of my daughter-in-law Kamilla who, like many other military spouses, goes it alone every day. She raises their three children (Nathan, John and Zoe) by herself on an income most of us would scoff at and she does it with strength and courage.
My son may be away from home, but he is never alone. In this war, unlike some others, I think people do care (although they need to care more about our men and women who return home with little support and few jobs). But more than the country behind him, he has generations of family behind him, each one of whom would stand up and be proud of his duty, honor, and service.
And, of course, he has mom standing behind him, brushing away the tears she tries never to let him see anymore.
Thank you Private First Class Patrick Graham for your service.