My travels take me all over and because of that I tend to spend a lot of downtime in airports around the country. Recently I was in DFW waiting on a flight to return home to KC and what I lovingly refer to as "The Land of Oz"; since I live in Kansas.
For some reason, I hand a strong desire for some McDonald's fries (I know, I know…) so I soon found myself in the line at the McDonald's in DFW Terminal D waiting for that tasty treat that is oh so bad for me.
As I stood in line, I noticed an airman next to me in full camp uniform waiting to place his order. I asked him where he was headed and he told me with a smile, "Afghanistan, but that's all I really am allowed to say." We chatted a bit about life and about being away from home. When we both got up to order, I told the young lady behind the counter to put the airman's meal on my bill.
He looked at me, genuinely surprised and told me, "You don't have to do that."
What I told him in reply is truly the way I feel. I said, "I get up every morning of the week and go to my office. I do the best I can to take care of the people who count on me and to take care of my family. However, there is never a moment where someone will try to kill me just because I'm doing my job." I also pointed out that paying for a mea in McDonald's is really not a big deal and the least I can do for someone willing to risk their life for me and others they will probably never meet.
He thanked me and we went our separate ways...
I don't tell this story to make myself look generous or anything like that. I tell it because it's a great example of how I feel about all of the men and women who put on a uniform and go to work to protect my country and their fellow citizens.
I could type and type, literally putting dozens of paragraphs together about how much their service and sacrifice means to me, but it still wouldn't convey how deeply I feel about our armed forces. No matter whether they are on the front lines or behind a desk making sure that those in the front lines are supplied and taken care of, they all sacrifice deeply for the rest of the citizens of our country.
I am very, very proud of them and I am very, very grateful for the job they do. If you are a veteran or are currently serving in our armed forces, let me take this opportunity to thank you not only for me but for the entire Flucke family. Thank you for the very important and dangerous job you do that keeps us safe and allows people like me to go to my office without fear of being shot or injured.
I've done quite a bit of reading on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan lately and I've got to say that if I was a "bad guy" in those areas and heard the Americans coming (whether it's choppers or boots on the ground), I'd be terrified… knowing I was going to have a *very bad day*.
Thanks for your service, sacrifice, and dedication. I cannot say "Thank You" enough!!!!!!!