My heart broke hearing the news of those 13 brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country a few weeks ago.

These soldiers were doing their duty and it resulted in them never getting to return to their homes, never getting to see or hug their families and friends and most of all, never getting to grow old and retire and live out their days in peace.

A majority of them were younger than myself, barely over 20.

This really put things into perspective for me.

For starters, it made me that much more grateful for what I have and that I wake up each day to live out my life with those I love dearly.

But more than that, it made me realize just how much these people give everyday that often times goes unnoticed.

I know it sounds awful to say, but often times it seems that the soldiers overseas seem to fall into our periphery, mostly because they are in some far away land fighting to keep our freedoms and the freedoms of those who so desire it in these lands, intact. The phrase out of sight, out of mind kind of lends itself to this particular situation.

I am not saying that we intentionally forget, no, I am saying that us being separated from the situation lends itself to at least a little bit of neglect.

Then when something like this tragedy happens, we are thrust right back into the midst of it and we are reminded why we honor these individuals.

There is Memorial Day for those who have fallen and there is Veterans Day to remember those who made it back.

However, I would like to think of every day as Memorial Day, and every day as Veterans Day.

We should always be grateful, in both words and actions, for these brave men and women and the dedication they had to fight for our country and defend our liberties.

They went in knowing that each day could be their last, but the persevered and that perseverance is what sets them apart.

I know, speaking for myself, I could not face such obstacles with the fervor and zeal that these people do. I would not readily put myself in harm's way, however, I am eternally grateful to those that do.

Without them, there is no telling where we would be right now.

I venture to say that it would probably be a whole lot worse than it is.

So I want to challenge everyone, thank a veteran for their service, even if it's not Veteran's Day. Pay your respects to the fallen in some manor, because without their sacrifice, we would not have the freedoms that we hold today.

Lastly, live each day to the fullest. We were gifted our lives by these brave men and women, and wasting it seems like a slap in the face to all that they stood for, but that's just my opinion.

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