Traveling for the holidays

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(DOD)

Many of us will be on the road during the holidays. We’ll endure the endless lines at the airport or fight the packed highways as we head off to visit family and friends who love us.

We have nothing to complain about.

Because our travel woes pale in comparison to hundreds of thousands who have traveled much further. They have sailed on ships or submarines for thousands and thousands of miles, across entire oceans to arrive at places where some people hate them.

They have piled themselves into aircraft with hundreds of pounds of carry-on items on their backs, only to sit for half a day in seats with no music, in-flight movies, or flight attendants to make them comfortable. When they landed, they found themselves in lands where bad people would shoot them on the spot if they could.

They don’t stay at fancy hotels, or in comfortable beds at their families’ homes. Instead – if they are lucky – they get to share a small room in an aluminum trailer with someone they barely know. Most likely they will be in a larger room with several racks lined up end-to-end or side-to-side, where privacy and personal space are nothing but fading memories.

They travel because we need them to. They put themselves in danger because when the nation asked for someone to protect us, they were the ones who said, “I’ll do it.” They travel for us.

The rest of us, as we suffer the indignity of an airport pat-down or have to wait an extra ten minutes to fill up the tank, need to remember the ones who are truly sacrificing this Christmas.

And as you wait, especially during this season of celebration and devotion, I hope you say a quiet prayer for the real holiday travelers serving far from home.

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