I KNOW IT'S NOT VETERAN'S DAY, FLAG DAY, OR EVEN THE 4TH OF JULY, BUT I FEEL COMPELLED TO TAKE A MOMENT AND JUST SAY "THANKS" TO ALL SERVICE MEN & WOMEN WHO HAVE GIVEN OF THEMSELVES TO PROTECT OUR WAY OF LIFE.

LAST FRIDAY I SPENT SOME TIME AT THE VETERAN'S HOSPITAL IN DETROIT AND YESTERDAY AT THE VETERAN'S OUTPATIENT CLINIC IN GRAND RAPIDS.  WHAT A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE.  EVERYWHERE I LOOKED THERE WERE VETERAN'S PROUDLY WEARING HATS, VESTS, & JACKETS SHOWING WHERE THEY HAD SERVED.  JUST LISTENING TO THE STORIES THEY WERE SHARING WITH EACH OTHER GAVE ME A SENSE OF AWE AT WHAT THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED.  NOT ONCE DID I HEAR ANY OF THEM ASKING FOR PITY.  JUST A PRIDE IN WHAT THEY HAVE DONE FOR THEIR COUNTRY. 

IT HAS BEEN ONE OF MY LIFE-LONG REGRETS THAT I WAS NEVER ABLE TO SERVE OTHERS THE WAY THEY HAVE SO SELFLESSLY GIVEN OF THEMSELVES.  SO...NO MATTER WHAT BRANCH YOU SERVED IN OR WHERE YOU SERVED, I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW HOW MUCH I RESPECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE SACRIFICED FOR THE REST OF US.  PLEASE ACCEPT MY SINCERE...THANKS!!!