By Ali Richardson, Staff Writer
It is no small thing to be a member of the United States Military. It’s a great honor that we should always remember to respect. The sacrifice that is required by military service members is nothing to be taken for granted. They miss out on monumental moments such as a birth, birthdays, promotions, special holidays, marriages, as well as deaths and funerals while taking weeks, months or even years away from family to protect our country in various ways, not only on the battlefield but even here on our own soil. They work hard every day to prepare for possible war or any threat that may confront our country.
Most military service members begin with intensive training referred to as bootcamp, which can last weeks or even months depending on one’s responsibilities. Bootcamp consists of physical training, mental training and learning the core values of what it takes to be a part of the United States Military. Only 55 percent of the people who enlist make it to the point where they can swear in and move on to their military basic training.
It’s not just young people right out of high school who are entering the military, it’s people with wives, husbands and children. I am thankful that in and around Abilene there are multiple events and groups that honor our military here in the Big Country. Dyess Air Force Base has served Abilene and our country since 1942. There are many memorials and museums honoring those who have served and are still serving.
Everything we are surrounded by was bought at a price since our country’s founding. The freedom that we as Americans walk around with is quite astounding.
I am the daughter of a retired air force veteran, a granddaughter of an army veteran and a great-granddaughter of a World War II army veteran. Coming from a family full of military background, I cannot express enough the great respect I have for my family who have served in the military. It was not always glamorous; the stories can be fun and interesting but also filled with loss and sacrifice. Whether it be a loss of a family member or friend while serving in the field, or even at home, it’s not easy.
It's no small thing to serve in the United States Military. Let us not take for granted what has been so well provided for us by the service members. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of the military service members, both past and present. Thank you for your service to our country.