When someone signs up for the military, there are two things they and their family must consider and come to terms with.
The first is the idea that they may, at some point, have to kill somebody. Most people would probably say that, in a life or death situation, they could do that. In the choice between kill or be killed, it's an obvious one.
The second thing to be considered is the knowledge that they themselves might be killed. Serving in the military, during war or peace, puts men and women in situations that can have a tragic ending.
When faced with taking another's life, our soldiers have to learn to handle pain and a myriad of emotions.
When a soldier is killed, those left behind are forced to sort through the emotions and grief that come with loss.
So in many ways, these are two potential realities that our military service men and women, and their families must learn to understand.
Of course, in the end, neither one is easy to accept.
But in the day-to-day grind of life, it is easy to forget that these military people are out there - people who are still serving, as well as veterans and their families.
A person's decision to serve in the military is nothing short of heroic. The fact is, our military takes on a job that many Americans could not do. Some people can't perform a soldier's duty physically or emotionally, and others can't reconcile themselves to the reality of killing someone or being killed themself.
I suppose that is the reason why, when we hear of a soldier dying, as was the case with the young Granger man this past week, it strikes a chord in all of us and we grieve, whether we knew the deceased and their family, or not. We know that our "day-to-day" life is truly a gift, afforded on the battlefield and upheld by our military every day, during times of war and in times of peace.
They do the job that most Americans elect not to do.
With this in mind, I ask people that they remember this fact and, regardless of your politics, reach out to those you know, family or friends who have elected to serve and protect you, or the families of these great individuals and express gratitude...not on Memorial Day or Veteran's Day, but every chance you get.