One of my few regrets in life is not having ever served in the armed forces. Unfortunately, at the time when I would have joined the military, I was a left-wing anti-establishmentarian, who despised any institutions I deemed authoritarian. Had I only converted a few years earlier, I may have thought differently.
Sadder still since I come from a family that has a long history of service; I am named after an uncle who died at age eighteen after stepping on a land mine in Italy during WWII, my father fought in the same war in Italy and Africa, another uncle, who died recently, served at both Normandy and Iwo Jima. My only brother was in the Navy, and served in Bahrain shortly following the Gulf War.
Today is their day, and now, despite my own lack of service, I want to express immense gratitude for their service and sacrifice, without which, we wouldn't have the freedom and prosperity we so richly enjoy. Thank you.