Yes, I know what you're thinking, "But Jake, you're a service member! You can't tell people to thank you!"
I realize that. Pretend I'm not in the service for a minute.
In today's military, I notice a lot of Marines that are getting drained from this war. Multiple deployments, being away from family, constant physical readiness to get deployed, constant weapons training - all around a tough time.
The Marine Corps is a tight bunch - I've seen some of my Marines re-enlist, just to go on a deployment with a fellow Marine to support each other and stay together. Unless you've been in the service, particularly the Corps, it's hard to know what this type of connection is like.
That being said, if you know a service member, please take a few minutes out of your day to sent them an email or call them and just randomly tell them that you appreciate their service, that you're proud of them, that you support them and are there for them - anything you want to say! But say something PERSONAL to them, not cliche.
I try to tell my Marines on a day to day basis that they're appreciated and that I'm very satisfied and proud of them, but I know it doesn't mean as much from me as it may from someone they know on a more personal level.
Please help me to bring our morale up, and stay vigilant in the fight! Do your part!
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I sincerely appreciate everyone who serves. I would never have the guts to do what they do.
My work got together last Christmas and did Operation Love Box. We sent a deployed unit things they needed along with a bunch of cards from everyone telling the troops how we appreciate everything they do. We plan on doing it again.
I've got two cousins who have both served in Iraq. We aren't all that close knit, so I haven't seen them since, but I know that one was Army. The other was infantry in the Marine Corps, and was at Fallujah in '04. I very strongly considered signing up towards the end of high school, then again throughout college. Part of that was trying to dig through the myth and romance of the whole thing, and get an honest no-fishing stories assessment from as many service members as I could. My respect for them deepened. You said not to thank you, but thank you.