A friend told me that she calls her Dad on Veteran's Day and thanks him. I thought that was a beautiful thing to do, and I've started doing the same with my dad, who served in the Navy in the Korean War aboard the USS Ernest G. Small. On October 7, 1951, his ship hit a mine off North Korea, killing 9 and wounding 18 of my father's friends. Four days later, her bow broke off in heavy seas.
I also send a card to my uncle (mom's brother), who served in the Army in the Korean War. He lost a leg when he stepped on a land mine in the war. My dad (who was not yet married to my mom) met my uncle when he visited him in the hospital at an aunt's request. (The families knew one another.) My dad has always said that my uncle is one of his heroes. My uncle went on to have a family of 9 children, working three jobs to support them all, always jovial and teasing, never a word of complaint. He is adored by friends and family, the kind of man you instantly call friend.
I am very proud of both of these men and grateful to them, too, and to all the other veterans - uncles and friends - who have been in my life and are no longer here in their earthly bodies. I am grateful, too, for all those I've never met, but who served for all of us. I honor them for the sacrifice on behalf of all Americans.
If you know a vet, take a moment to give them a call or drop them a card, thanking them for their service in the cause of freedom.
And take a look at the beautiful montage video Amber has posted on her site: http://bluemangocreations.blogspot.com/2008/11/veteran-day-montage-american-anthem_11.html