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11 Thank Yous to the Veterans in My Life

“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” a truce was declared between the Allied Nations and Germany during World War I. That day back in 1918 is now a United States holiday known as Veterans Day, which was once called “Armistice Day.”

 

There are a multitude of reasons we should thank the men and women in our Armed Forces—and I, especially, wanted to take some time to thank the veterans who are in my life and tell them why I am thankful for them.

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Family

1.  Grandpa [M.S.Jr.], Navy

I can’t believe it’s been seven years now without you, Grandpa; we miss you so much. Even though I was little when you passed away, I'll never forget how you could make an entire room laugh—the nickname “Mickey” suited you well—and how much you enjoyed life itself. I'm not only grateful for the short amount of time I shared with you, but also for your leadership and perseverance in the Navy, which earned you a Purple Heart. You'll always be in our thoughts and memories; I love you, Grandpa.

2.  Uncle [G.S.], Army

It’s been so long since I’ve heard one of your infamous jokes—I feel deprived! You've always had an infectious sense of humor, and I can never help myself but smile around you. I'm so grateful for everything you've done for me thus far, along with everything you did while serving in the Army—from being drafted and stationed in Germany to surviving an office attack. When you earned your art teaching degree after completing your military service, you taught me the truth of one of life’s fundamentals: find what you love and are good at, and make a career out of it.

3.  Uncle [S.S.], Army

I'll never forget interviewing you and asking you about your life in the military for a history paper I wrote in high school… it feels like it just happened yesterday! I have so much respect for you, from your volunteering to join the Army through the Buddy System to getting stationed in Vietnam. I hope I'm able to make my mark on the world the way you have, and, most of all, I'm so grateful for all the support you've given me.

4.  Uncle [G.H.], Army

I always look forward to family gatherings because when you’re around, I know it'll be a great time—you never fail to fill a room you walk into with laughter. I'm very appreciative of the time you served in the Army. With your experience of being a transportation specialist and driving your captain around Germany, you taught me there's a time to play and a time to work—and when you work hard, you can accomplish anything.

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Friends

5.  [L.R.], Navy ROTC

It feels so strange not seeing you anymore, let alone hunched over a new book you started to devour! You were the girl who taught me to never sell myself short; you were the girl who treated everyone with the utmost respect and kindness. You've been such a great friend of mine since middle school, and I'm honored to have known someone so compassionate and determined as you are—I have no doubts that you'll do amazing things in the next few years. Good luck in the Navy ROTC; I hope you have enough books to read in your free time!

6.  [M.M.], Army ROTC

From Miss Sassy Gymnast to now Miss Aspiring Pilot, there was rarely anything you couldn’t do growing up. You were the girl who could always make me laugh, no matter the day; you were the girl who taught me how to push myself and keep going, no matter the challenge. I'll never forget our jokes in our middle school social studies class or that one time you invited me to the aquatic center and we both got super-duper burnt. It was totally worth it, though. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for our ever-growing friendship, along with your dedication to pursuing your dreams. I wish you the best of luck in the Army ROTC as you work toward becoming a pilot and commissioner officer.

7.  [K.C.], Navy

It’s crazy to think that you and I have known each other since elementary school… time really does fly by. You were the girl who first let me spin your rifle when I told you I was interested in joining color guard; you were the girl who wrote me the most heartfelt letter of encouragement when you were my Secret Sister during my first season (I still have it!). I'll never forget all the laughs, tears and kick-butt performances we shared on the field, and I hope everything goes well for you in the Navy. Keep in touch, and I hope to see you soon.

8.  [J.K.], Navy

It’s hard to believe that I won’t see you in the hallways or at practice anymore… I miss you! You were one of the first girls I looked up to in color guard, and I'm so grateful that you were my section leader during my final marching season. The advice you gave me on and off the field—about performing and about life itself—carried me through high school and is still with me today. I'm so proud of the fact that someone whose example I was led by is now representing the nation in the Navy. I can’t wait to see you again in the future—good luck.

9.  [H.H.], Marines

I've only known you for a short period of time, but I'll definitely never forget the passion you had for joining the military. I always looked forward to the class we had together because you reminded me what it was like to turn a lifelong goal into reality—you were inspiring. You were the boy who'd go out of his way to make others feel included and who'd drop whatever he was doing to help out another person. There's no doubt in my mind that you're going to go far in the Marines.

10.  [D.E.Jr.], Air Force

Drummer Boy, I don’t even know where to begin with you… You were my best friend in middle school and brought out my playful side, reminding me not to be so tense all the time—you were the boy who taught me how to enjoy life and all its imperfections. I'm so grateful that we still talk today, and I wish you the best of luck in the Air Force as you work toward your dream of becoming a parachute rescueman. Always remember to reach beyond the clouds and never give up.   

11. [A.P.], Navy

And finally, Doc… I don’t think I could ever have enough space on this page to express how much you mean to me. For one thing, you were the boy who taught me how to always find the positive in any situation, no matter how crappy it actually is. You were also the boy who motivated me to make every second in life count and worthwhile because none of it is guaranteed tomorrow. I'm so grateful that I met you and that we're such close friends, and I hope everything goes well on your first deployment in the Navy. Please keep in touch—I'll always write back to you.

[bf_image id="q5ka5u-acviww-acjrb5"] Thank you, again, to the people whom I listed above and to all the others whom I did not. Thank you very much for your service and happy Veterans Day.

| 2018-20 Club President/Campus Correspondent | Hailey Seipel is a senior at Winona State University who is studying Applied & Professional Writing and Journalism. She has been passionate about writing ever since she was little, and a dream of hers is to author poetry, sci-fi and romance novels. Until then, she is interested in working as a creative/blog writer, technical editor or project coordinator after graduating. In her free time, Hailey enjoys listening to music and reading leisurely.
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