By Rep. Mike Sanders
Just a week ago, 40 million people stayed up late into the night watching a baseball game, which shouldn’t matter as much as it did. The flip of a wrist sent a small white ball into the glove of a waiting first baseman, ending a 108-year-old curse and making a team into national champions. I imagined the eruption of cheering happening as fans celebrated their long, long, long-awaited victory.
The next day, I watched Oklahomans from all walks of life line up for early voting – waiting their turn to fill out ballots, selecting our next national and state leaders. The I Voted sticker serves as a tiny reminder of the freedom to help choose who represents us.
Interesting that all of this leads up to Veterans Day – a day set aside nationally to honor veterans of all wars.
Watching men swing bats and field balls seems utterly trivial when put beside the image of our armed forces fighting bloody wars to keep us safe at home.
Yet our troops go to war so we can enjoy such freedoms. Without our strong military, we might have a very different way of life here in America. The lines we stand in might be to get a weekly ration of bread or some much-needed but hard-to-come-by medicine. We might never know the pure joy of watching a baseball game.
But because American men and women agree to serve our country and to protect our freedoms, we get to enjoy these small pleasures and many others.
On Friday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, please take a moment to say thank you. Not just thank you to our veterans – who deserve our eternal gratitude for sacrificing so much on our behalf – but thank you to their families as well. The moms and dads who stay behind with children have to serve on the home-front as single parents. They give up contact, sometimes for years at a time while their loved one serves. Many times they have to watch helplessly as their spouse or relative suffers post-traumatic stress disorder while trying to recover from the horrors witnessed in combat.
As I watch the flags fly on Friday, I know I’ll be saying my own prayers of thanksgiving for those who have served and for protection of those still serving.
As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be contacted at Mike.Sanders@OKHouse.Gov or (405) 557-7407.