There is a bumper sticker that reads: "If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a veteran."
While I appreciate the sentiment, I'd like to take a minute to expand on that.
To all those who wore the uniform before me who ensured that those sitting next to me while I was learning to read and write were both male and female of all faiths and various ethnicities, and from all walks of life; Thank You
To all those before me whose selfless achievements are now my honored heritage; Thank You
To all who have placed the love of this country and it's underlying tenets above their own welfare; Thank You
To all those who have cast absentee ballots while far from far away places while fighting to secure the right of others to choose their own destiny; Thank You
To all those who have missed birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and holidays, whose marraiges and relationships have endured months and years of separation for the sake of the security of others; Thank You
And thanks especially to all those who have given pieces of their body and soul for just a small hope that the world my children and their children grow up in will not need those who will wear this uniform after me to live for months and years far from home and in harms way.