They Are On Their Way Home

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Are you ready to say Thanks?

If you consider yourself a supporter of our military members, you are about to get a long-awaited chance to say "thank you" and this time, you will get to say it face to face.

Many of them are headed home. We experienced this transition a couple of years ago when we drew down in Iraq. Now you are going to be seeing them in the airports again as they begin coming home from Afghanistan. And in the days and weeks to come, you will also be seeing them in the shopping malls, at the movie theaters, in restaurants. They will be home with their families and back in our daily lives.

Maybe you know

Maybe you know someone who is still "over there." A number of them will be away from home for a long time to come. When their homecoming finally happens it will, no doubt, not receive the attention others have received at different times. That shouldn't diminish their service and their family's sacrifice - in their eyes or in ours.

How will you recognize these returning soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors? Well, first and foremost, you can probably spot them by their haircuts - at least the men. High and tights are not the rage among most young guys, so when you see one, chances are he's military.

If you pay close attention, you might be able to pick our military out of a crowd by the way they hold their spouse's hand and keep their children close. After a long separation, just being able to have your loved ones within reach is something you don't take for granted.

You might recognize these men and women by the way they carry themselves. There is a pride in serving your country that can't be hidden by civilian clothes. The uniform comes off, but not the honor.

If you find yourself behind one of these patriots in line for the movies, or at the next table in the cafe, of filling the family car at the gas station, stop and say "Thank You." They can't hear it enough, but more importantly, after ten years of war and the demands we have made of only two percent of our population and their families, we can not say it often enough.

After a decade

After more than a decade of deployments in two theaters of operation, troops coming home from war might be considered old news. Perish the thought! Troops coming home should be front page news (above the fold!) whenever it happens. These are the folks who have put themselves in harm's way for people they do not even know and will probably never meet. And many of them didn't make it back. Many of them made it back, but will never be the same - neither will their loved ones.

For most of us, these wars have been items on the evening news or the occasional article in the newspaper. Maybe your civic group sent Christmas packages for a year or two. Maybe your church has held a tribute service around the Fourth of July during these years of war. Maybe you have sent e-mail cards to wounded soldiers or baked cookies for a deployment ceremony at the military base near where you live. But these folks you are going to see in the airport and at the movies - actually went and served. We can not say "Thank You" enough.

But we can sure try.


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These ladies are British, but their message is the same.

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Comments 28 comments

Longhunter 5 years ago

It's great these men and women are on their way home, hopefully in time to spend the holidays with their families. Thank you to them all and to the ones still there and those leaving now.

I have a cousin, Caleb, who left December 5th for Afghanistan. Caleb, along with all our troops, are in our prayers.

Great hub, Kathleen.


CathyG 5 years ago

Just remember, don't just say "Thanks" now - do it everyday. My family and I make a point to say "Thank You" any time we see a service person, military or civilian. This also includes our law enforcement officers and firefighters. Don't forget they are also putting their lives on the line each day so we can sleep better at night. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SERVE!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Longhunter, Thank Caleb, and your family, for his service. I pray for his protection as well. It's so easy to forget the ones who are still there - and will be there for a long while.

I have a son in Afghanistan also, as a contractor. (The military wouldn't take his flat feet! So he went as an IT contractor.) He'll be home in January. It's not the same as being a soldier, as he would be the first to tell you, but we sure do miss him!


Longhunter 5 years ago

Kathleen, your son is still serving his country in his own way and deserves our thanks and respect. Tell him I said thank you. He's in our prayers as well and thanks for your prayers for my cousin.

Also, thank you to you and your family. Those that serve never serve alone.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Really nice, Kathleen. Thank you.

Voted way up and beautiful.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

WillStar: Thanks for reading and commenting. Appreciate the sentiments.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Will Starr - You found your way to several of my hubs today! Must have been a slow day!!! Thanks.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Excellent Hub. We should all be more grateful and take every opportunity that presents itself to say thank you.


cmlindblom profile image

cmlindblom 4 years ago from middletown, ct

I did read your hub like you suggested and it is a good one. These days I feel like it's the cool thing to say you support the military but then turn around and forget about it. The fact that you felt strong enough about it to write about it and demand about it is really a great thing and I thank you for that.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

cmlindblom: Writing a hub is the least I could do for those who've done the heavy lifting for a decade. Thanks for the read!


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

I am all about supporting our men and women in uniform as my husband has served in the Army for over 11 years now! We have 5 deployments under our belt with the 6th within the next few months. I hate that we are still "helping" other nations when we should be home. Thank you for writing such a heart felt hub :) I know I appreciate it! Voted up and shared!


Jenna Pope profile image

Jenna Pope 4 years ago from Southern California

Your Hub was very inspirational. Both of our sons went on 4 deployments between them -- 2 each -- to Iraq and Afghanistan. For any other returning Vets, Thank You!!! Voted up.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

CassyLu1981 and Jenna: First, thank you for your family's service and sacrifice. This generation owes you all a debt we can never repay. Six deployments? Four deployments? Thank you doesn't nearly say it.

Welcome to my hubs. I hope you enjoy them.


Justsilvie 4 years ago

Great Hub! We need to say more than thank you, we need to make sure that they receive the benefits they have so rightly earned through their service. Something that always seems to slide by the wayside after the wars are over.


daskittlez69 profile image

daskittlez69 4 years ago from midwest

Troops are still being sent to Afghanistan as we speak. I appreciate your Hub though.


jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA

Please say thank you with job offers, housing assistance, and through your support of legislation that provides these things for our veterans, too. The jobless, homeless, suicide, and mental health rates skyrocket for veterans who gave up their social networks while they served, and when they're done with their military time, there may be nothing left to return to.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Justsilvie: Thank you. As an old Army wife myself, I can testify to the fact that benefits are being cut even as we speak. It is always done quietly in hopes nobody notices while all the legislators spout off praise for service members. The public needs all the reminders we can give them to pay attention.

daskittlez60: You are 100% correct. We are still sending folks, and they are still getting hurt or worse. Today's news is a sad reminder of that fact.

jellygator: Nothing is more shameful to a nation than veterans who are out of work and homeless. Only one percent has served this last decade. Surely we can do better making sure they can make a good living for such a small percent of our population.

Thanks, all of you, not only for your comments, but for your prompt comments. These three came in within ten minutes of my posting this hub, which is actually an updated version of one first posted last winter. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Kathleen - An important and necessary reminder to all of us who sleep safe and sound at night, that our soldiers don't. They are separated from their families, from the comforts of daily life, and whether they agree with America's political direction and choices...they serve their country, often facing loss of limbs and even loss of life.

They deserve the nation's gratitude. better care when they come home, and our personal appreciation and thanks. "Thank you for your service" can never be said too often.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

phdast7: From someone who knows. Thanks for being a part of this conversation.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

In addition to saying "thank you" every chance we get, it's up to civilians to make ourselves heard whenever politicians make noises about cutting Veterans Administration benefits. So many vets suffer from PTSD in addition to physical injuries and illnesses, and they deserve excellent medical and mental health care for as long as they need it. It infuriates me when someone who never served in the military wants to cut V.A. benefits!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

JayeWisdom: I'm with you. We've taken a decade from these young people and their families. And we made a promise to them. We must see that the promises are kept.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

"The uniform comes off, but not the honor." That statement sums it all up...the people serving us and our country did so with honor and we need to honor them in return. There are many servicemen in my family including my son who is in the Army National Guard and works in Homeland Security. He never left this country because of his position in Homeland Security, but served actively during 9/11 and its aftermath, has been sent to help with disasters, and so on. No serviceman should ever be ignored, no serviceman should ever want for a job or house or food. Anyone who serves their country deserves the best. Let's take some money away from politicians and give it to our Veterans!

We always say thank you to every serviceman we see. My husband makes it a point to shake their hand as well. I truly loved this hub and think it should be written on the walls of every politicians office in the country.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Shared too.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

My son recently retired as a Colonel from the Marines, and his son is going in after graduating from College this May. Another one of my grandsons such enlisted in the Navy. So, as a mother and grandmother, thanks for this wonderful hub. I'm so excited to see our troops coming home after serving during such hard times. Voted up++.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Ten years is a long time for America to pay attention to any thing. But we've enjoyed a decade of peace at home thanks to the sacrifice of these young women and men. We have Army friends who just lost their son, the first U.S. death in Afghanistan in 2013. He was buried last week in Arlington. Another Army friend's daughter was the first woman killed in Afghanistan. Her class ring is on display in the West Point Library where the ring from a graduate of each class is honored - usually postumously. How do you thank families for such sacrifices?


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

The thanks that honorable members of the military deserve is tremendous, and we should try to express it with our words, our advocacy of their support systems, and with jobs/business opportunities.

My husband and I were recently discussing choices regarding a business matter. The list of people included some with a military background. In thinking through which person to choose we realized that one with a military background could be the best choice.

If they do not know answers they are trained to get to the solutions by asking questions and doing hard work to get to the root of any dilemma. They would probably be very disciplined on task, not wasting time whining about the effort required. They would be appropriately focused on positive outcomes, and they could bring much more to the situation because of their training such as patience in reaching goals and a definitive ability to follow instructions.

That is not to say that other people would not or could not have the same qualities on their side, just that out of a group of people the ones with military training could likely have the qualities we were looking for wrapped up in a finely tuned package that could mean that they would be leaders among their peers in all walks of life.

Thank you for emphasizing gratitude to those who have led and followed with honor in service to our country in this hub. We have enjoyed a relative peace and safety that much of the world knows nothing of and we have given tremendous aid to people groups who have suffered under tyranny. Those who work to maintain that status for us deserve to be appreciated.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

We do owe our military members employment opportunities after the sacrifices they have made for all of us. It is the least we can do. Glad to hear employers realize the value of their discipline and experience. There will always be exceptions. But it is a good place to start.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 3 years ago

It's a nice thought, but they need more than thank yous. It's unfortunate the services that they receive upon return have often not been adequate.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Freeway Flyer: You couldn't be more right. As far as I'm concerned our military should never pay taxes again - at least not while they are on active duty or medically discharged. There are so few of them compared to the general population. And that should be just the beginning.

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