Nathan writes about a certain amount of discomfort he feels when someone thanks him for his service, pointing out that it has its benefits and he does it with eyes wide open regarding the risks. He then talks about how the families serve and sacrifice too. Here's how he closes:
But do you still want to thank a servicemember?
Here’s what you should do. Words are nice, but actions are better.
Find your nearest USO and volunteer. If it is too far away for you to travel, then drop off non-perishable drinks and snacks. Or give a cash donation.
USOs make the cruel travel schedule we endure bearable. They are wonderful for servicemembers, but also for the family when they are along.
It’s only a few hours for you, but it makes a HUGE difference to us.
That was just so awesome to read! Of course we don't do it for the warm-fuzzies, but it's always nice to hear that the effort makes a difference. Although, when someone says more than just thanks to me, I always brush it off with the truth: we're all just doing our part. And besides, I volunteer for selfish reasons--it's actually a ton of fun. ;)
So, see if you have a USO nearby that needs your help. Mine's a half-hour drive away (when traffic is good), but it's worth every minute.