Today, our family gathered for a special kind of going-away party. My cousin Michael decided some time ago to join the Air Force, and on Monday night he will depart for basic training. I was 12 when Mike was born, so it seems impossible that he is (already?) old enough to join the military. In truth, it is my lack of objectivity about my own age that leads to this perception.
So today, I take this opportunity to thank him for his service to my country. It is with great pride that I will say, "My cousin's in the Air Force." It is with gratitude to him and countless others who are serving and have served, that I recognize that their service is responsible for my continued freedom.