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Dear Veteran,

Today is Veteran's Day. I apologize for only reaching out one day a year to remember you but I've been so busy in my daily life raising a family, going to work, attending school plays, going to the football games and enjoying myself so much, that there just hasn’t been any time left for you.

But as I pause for a moment and look back on my life, all the way back to when I was born, I realize that I wouldn't even exist if it weren't for you. From the very moment I was conceived you've protected and guarded me. You've kept me safe from harm and all too often sacrificed everything you had so I could get through my childhood, grow up mature and survive. You are my best friend, my most loyal shepherd, the one I would always turn to and the one I could always count on when I was threatened. 

Every single time, without me even having to ask you, you stepped forward and shielded me from harm no matter the danger or sacrifice that you were about to face.

Most of the time, I never even knew you were out there, where you were or what you were doing and I could never know the hardships, the heartbreak, and the toll that you were taking on my behalf. Yet, you've continued to do so time and time again my entire life for little pay, little reward, and little thanks. Over time, I think I even started taking you for granted and that in some way maybe you should be the one thanking me for the privilege of doing so. Sometimes I even treated you without respect or acted like I didn't need your help anymore. Please don't think bad of me, I am sorry.

As I've grown older and perhaps a little wiser, I realize now that I was acting like a spoiled child who takes their good life and their good things for granted. Like a spoiled child I always expected you to do your part while I went about my day safe and sound, without a care. Well, perhaps it is time for me to be a grownup and realize that after 243 years it's not about me, hell, there wouldn't even be a me without you. I owe you a lot more than one day a year to thank you. I thank you for every day, for every day since the day I was born, because I know without your commitment, your bravery, your courage, and your sacrifice, I would have long ago perished from this earth.

Even though it might seem that I think of you on only one day a year it’s truly not the case. Even though I might not say it as much as I should, I need you to know how I truly feel.

 I thank you. I respect you. I honor you, and I hope that I can make you as proud of me as I am proud of you. 

I'm still trying, I won't forget you, and I will never give up on you, I promise.

Love,

America

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