I am able to dream from my armchair about the life I'd like to have. And I have a great many dreams. My books published and read by more people than just my parents and my editor. Enough success from my writing that perhaps I can live out the rest of my years in moderate comfort.
My desires seem so dreadfully important day in and day out that I am driven to achieve the smallest of goals, but in the grand scheme of things, my dreams matter little to the cost for my freedom. I owe those dreams, the life of who I was once, who I am now, and who I will become, everything to those who serve.
It's a simple phrase that shakes me to my core:
All gave some. Some gave all.
And they did it for me, an overweight armchair writer with very selfish dreams.
To the all that gave and the some that gave, to those who joined for the chance at higher education, for a direction or career path, to those who joined out of anger or joined out of pride, to those with families and those without, to those who are remembered or are forgotten, or would like to remember or forget, to Omar and my Uncle and my father and my neighbor and all their brothers in arms forever bound together in loss and sacrifice, to all I thank you for your service.
I am forever in your debt.