A Thank You Not Deserved

Written by Esme Shane

Thank you for your service.

I smile and reply thank you for the acknowledgement. As I walk away, I think about my military service. Did I do anything that is worthy of a stranger’s gratitude? Not really. I did nothing heroic. I didn’t save anyone or prevent any attack. My time in the military was just a job.

Thank you for your service. Unlike the brave men and women who serve in a combat zone, my time was spent in relatively safe areas. I never fell asleep afraid there was chance I would not see the light of day because of a night ambush. My wounds consisted of paper cuts sustained while filing and a broken arm sustained when I fell down a flight of steps. My nights are not filled with PTSD generated nightmares.

Thank you for your service. If I am honest with myself, I am thankful that I wasn’t expected to be brave. My motivation for signing on the dotted line was an education and nothing more. Yes basic training was hell but I kept my eye on the prize of getting a college degree. The military gave me invaluable experience and an education that I used to my advantage in my military career, and I continue to use as I further my career in civilian life.

Thank you for your service should be a greeting reserved for those brave men and women who serve or have served on the front lines in a combat zone. Every job in the military is important but let’s be clear that not every job in the military is life-threatening. My days spent behind a computer console were nothing like those of the brave men and women who patrolled the streets of a hostile war zone while keeping the peace in a place where the US military was the enemy.

Thank you for your service.

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