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Thank you for your sacrifices

Senior Master Sergeant, SMSgt Stripes (Metallic).  Insignia provided by ITC(SW) MIke Purcell.

Senior Master Sergeant, SMSgt Stripes (Metallic). Insignia provided by ITC(SW) MIke Purcell.

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska -- According to Merriam-Webster, "Sacrifice," by definition, is "the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help some-one." As a reservist, sacrifice has become something that we do without even thinking.

In the first part of the definition, "the act of giving up something that you want to keep" is a daily occurrence for some and a monthly thing for others. This could be as simple as missing a child's fieldtrip, dance recital, or a family member's birthday during a unit training assembly, temporary duty assignment or deployment.

The later part of the definition is where the rubber meets the road, the "meat and potatoes," if you will.

It states, "especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone." How you define the "something" or "someone" is as individual to each of us as there are stars in the sky.

Each and every one of you who don the uniform, are willing to stand in harm's way to ensure that our great nation stays free." This is the role of America's fighting men and women. We willingly sacrifice to preserve the liberties and freedoms that make America the melting pot that it is.

For the past 29 years, I have had the honor to wear the uniform and preserve what we call freedom; I did not do it alone.

I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you past and present for your willingness to make sacrifices and stand next to me and our great nation.

God-speed to you as I hang up my uniform and you step up to take my place.