Today is Thanksgiving, so clearly is all about giving thanks for what we have in our lives. For me, it includes thanks for the end of my work week, thanks for those who read this blog, and then there are my greatest thanks. . . . Like my loving family that tolerates my idiosyncratic behavior, and who will be gathered to see a turkey get butchered by someone who should never wield a knife. There was a time I could wield such a device with great precision, but those days left with the addition of glasses. Now, I’m having a good day if I can see the turkey, much less carve it. Still, as we muddle through the day with huge quantities of tryptophan coursing through our arteries, with the ubiquitous football game on in the background, take a minute and give some serious thanks for the men and women still out there on the front lines around the world. Yes, I’m talking about “those guys.” You know the ones who are sailing the seven seas, or serving on a DMZ, or in a base camp, or maybe out on patrol in the roughest spots around the world. You know, “those guys” who give up being with their families on a day like this, so that we can spend it with our families. These are the people we should be remembering and for whom we should be especially thankful. Their sacrifices of time away from their loved ones and friends, their deployments around the world on this and every other day, are what makes the difference for the rest of us. For them, I am especially thankful, since without them, where would we be in the big scheme of things. Yes, I’m biased, since I’ve been one of “those guys” who did it. I guess that just means that I know how badly it stinks to be in that position. For them, and their families, the sacrifices are huge. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers every day, but when you are seated around that table today, be sure to take just a moment to remember them for all they have done, or will do, so that you can butcher that bird. (Unless you’re a member of PETA who is carving a “soy based turducken,” in which case, I somehow seriously doubt you’re reading this in the first place!) So, today of all days, take a moment and reflect on those who have made it possible for you and yours to share the day. Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.