For those of you who have been reading my blog long enough, you know that we have a Thanksgiving tradition, certainly not unique but a cherished ritual none the less, in which all who celebrate with us take turns telling everyone present what they are thankful for on this day. The miles and hours that separate me from my family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year is not nearly reason enough to forgo this tradition, so here are some of the things that I am thankful for this year.
For the opportunities that have been provided to me over the last year where I could help provide for the future well-being of people less fortunate than us, for the security of those near us here in Afghanistan, and for the lives we were able to save in Pakistan; for what I have seen and the lessons emblazoned upon my heart of how very fortunate we are, I am truly thankful.
I am thankful to be able to provide for the security of the country that has given me so many opportunities and blessings throughout my lifetime. I am blessed to know of the millions countrymen who will be able to avail them selves of those same opportunities in the future.
I am thankful that I was raised in a home that taught and lived the values that guide me today, lessons anchored upon a faith in God, where what I was able to share was more important than what I thought I was entitled to, and where the thought truly did count more than the gift.
For the company of heroes with whom I will share this celebration as I have shared the past year, the lessons in leadership that I have been able to both learn and share, the examples of selflessness, duty, and patriotism that I have witnessed, and for the Herculean efforts that I have received and been able to put forth for a noble and righteous cause, I am truly blessed.
I am thankful that my family will celebrate this occasion in a warm, safe home filled with love in a place they cherish. A home where all the sounds and smells that warm my heart and bring a smile to my face just to think about, football games, turkey, card games, pies, and children laughing, will fill the rooms from morning to night.
While I am extremely thankful for the well wishes and prayers of all who wander through this site which I truly believe have kept us safe this far as well as the rest of the way home, for all the heartfelt sentiments, none of which included pity for the hardships of our chosen profession, I can not express enough gratitude.
I am sure you will understand when I decline to share with you the details of what I am most grateful for, even more so this year than last, in favor of sharing the gratitude for my most cherished possession, the love and support of my wife, only with her.
P.S. I am also ecstatically thankful for the AFN televised Thanksgiving eve opportunity for the Colorado Avalanche to put the hurt to the Detroit Red Wings, and the Denver Broncos Thanksgiving Day thrashing of the Dallas Cowboys. Gobble Gobble!!!