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Mrs. Mishi Harari, Fort Riley, KS

I often hear the expression “thank you for your service,” although I never really thought too deeply about what the word “service” meant. It hit me tonight as I was driving up our cute little street on post, driveways cluttered with cars, front yards strewn about with bikes and scooters, that the people who live here aren’t just people. They aren’t just neighbors who’s kids go to the same schools, who shop at the same stores, who share coffee dates and front yard picnics. These aren’t just people who give their lives for their country. They are husbands, wives and children who give every part of themselves to this country, to their fellow soldiers and to their families. They are devoted, they are purposeful, they serve and support with love and humility. They lead and they encourage. They possess values that run deeply through their family’s everyday lives. They are selfless. They are courageous. Not just because they are soldiers. And not just because they are spouses and children of soldiers. They are courageous because they believe that what they do serves a higher purpose, higher than what most people are even aware of. Many of them have been down difficult roads, just as their neighbors to their right and left, soldiers and their families alike. And down those difficult roads, on their journeys through moves, births, joy and sorrow, pain and grief, they have been there for each other in ways that most would never understand.

And tonight, when I drove home, as I passed all the shiny, super clean cars and finally arrived at the very end of the block, I felt so much awe, so much pride in knowing that these are no ordinary human beings; not in any capacity and not by any stretch of the imagination. So to all my mil-spouse friends and to all the soldiers I have come to know:

Thank you all for your service.

Originally published in the Purim 2021 issue of The Jewish American Warrior.