Giving Thanks

It’s the season. As we gather together with our family and friends and reflect on the joy in our lives, it’s easy to forget about others. And it’s all too easy to overlook all that is wrong in our communities, country, and the world. With that in mind, an exercise in giving back can and should be directed at our military.

When I was growing up, we lived up the road from a naval training base. My dad, a tough retired Marine, would pay a visit to the base commander every Thanksgiving afternoon with an invitation to take a few young men home for Thanksgiving dinner. I remember being beyond uncomfortable looking around the table at these guys with funny haircuts devouring what was, in my home, an over the top gourmet Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, they addressed my dad as sir, thanked my mom profusely and looked uncomfortably back at me (I had no siblings to share this experience with).

When I think back, I am proud my family took an active role in helping very young men, far away from home and family during the holidays, feel appreciated and respected. I think about how my dad just did this year after year and how it was our tradition.

As you enjoy your holiday traditions, please think about how you can give thanks.

Happy holidays! I’ll be back in the new year.