Walden’s Words: Thank You!


The month of November includes a major holiday when people display gratitude — Thanksgiving. Millions of people will gather with family, friends, and a good meal to share stories of thanks. Millions will also watch the National Football League (NFL) on television (TV). One of the best parts about watching the football game on TV is the commercials. The Thanksgiving commercials during the football game are generally not as expensive as the Super bowl commercials (there aren’t all the multi-million dollar funded high-tech commercials!). However, these Thanksgiving ads have another aspect more significant than a competition between businesses: military personnel serving overseas.

Hundreds of thousands of military personnel will be serving in the Middle East, on the African Continent, in remote locations in Asia and in faraway places in Europe during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Many of these military personnel will be away from family members, like their parents, siblings, spouses, and children living in the United States of America (USA) and across the world.

Fortunately, in the midst of one of the Thanksgiving NFL games on TV, many of our local communities acknowledge their military personnel’s absence from their family and friends with a brief clip of the military personnel saying “Hi” and expressing that they are “OK” while deployed in a foreign country. I am thankful for those specific ads, for theyremind us of the enormous sacrifices our military personnel face while serving overseas during the holiday season.

I am thankful for those serving in our military who pledge daily to keep our country safe by protecting and defending our national interests in foreign lands. I know email is less expensive and more convenient than mailing a hand written note of “Thanks”, but I encourage you to be different. I encourage you to create and/ or participate in a letter writing campaign to simply say “Thank You” to military personnel and/ or their families during this Thanksgiving holiday season.

For your serious consideration – Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving!

Ken Walden, UMR Columnist

Ken Walden

Ken Walden is an Air Force Chaplain Reservist and United Methodist Clergyperson. He is the author of Challenges Faced by Iraq War Reservists and Their Families.

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