- gotten recruiting calls from West Point (for no good reason; seriously, my grades in high school were terrible and my SATs were very good, but not amazing)
- been a pacifist
- considered joining the Reserve
- dated someone whose father was a retired two-star general
- numbered soldiers and Marines among some of my closest friends
- been scared to death on and after September 11
- lived very close to the Pentagon
- been simultaneously horrified and delighted by the weekly Twilight Tattoos on the National Mall
- opposed every war the U.S. has entered in my lifetime
But you know what?
Until my adult self is ready to be the kind of unambivalent pacifist my 15-year-old self was, and is willing to deal with the consequences of what it would mean if my nation suddenly gave up its military, I have no business being anything but undyingly grateful to the men and women who serve our country in all of the jobs our military takes care of.
I am deeply proud of my friends in uniform, and I am honored that they serve to protect me and my freedoms.
Day 11 of my month of gratitude: I am grateful for people who do the work I can't do. Happy Veterans Day.