by Carl Castro

With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s that time of year when many of us reflect on our blessings and appreciate the things we have, the people in our lives and that we are able to live freely in the United State of America. As we pause to give thanks for being able to spend quality time with those we love, let’s not forget those who are not so lucky.

There are those who have made the ultimate sacrifice dying for their country. Their families will be celebrating the holidays without their loved ones.

Let us also remember that there are still more than 200,000 service members on operational missions around the world, with many of those in combat zones. And their families will no doubt be anxious and worried about their safety and well-being. This year, service members and military spouses listed time away from family as their top concern (more so than pay and benefits) in the annual Blue Star Families survey.

Not everyone will be spending the holidays with their families. Sacrifices are still being made every day. Vigilance is a never-ending task. America is great because of those who have served and those who are currently serving. That so few serve so that the majority don’t have to is what every American should be thankful for. Let’s remember them this holiday season and not just on military- and veteran-specific days.


Carl A. Castro, PhD
Associate Professor and Director
Colonel, US Army (Retired)


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