Today, I remember my grandfather, who served in Hawai'i in World War II. While blessed to have arrived after Pearl Harbor, he nevertheless lived in an area that was an active war zone. He's in the middle here, standing up with his arm around another guy.
I remember Matt's grandfather, who served in the Aleutian islands building runways but still ran into Japanese soldiers who had holed up.
I honor my brother, who served in two tours in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan as a marine then turned around, got work with the Pentagon, and went back to Afghanistan again.
I honor my friend Nick, who has now done two long tours in Afghanistan with the army. He no longer flies, which he loves, but still heads up a battalion. He was one of my best friends in high school, and I'm still proud of how far he has come.
I remember the countless veterans I knew from church in Kirkland. Names escape me at the moment, but I had such a wonderful time sitting around with them on Sunday mornings just listening to their collected wisdom. Frank Gaskill, George Harris, and many more.
I honor my many friends who have served for our country. While I don't like war, I still value those who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend our way of life. Thank you for your time, effort, and lives.