I grew up in a family where manners were deeply ingrained in my character. Saying “thank you” was always automatic and often done unconsciously because it was polite. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel grateful. More accurately, I didn’t realize how impactful gratitude can be.

When Martha approached me about possibly joining the WeGush team, I was intrigued by the thought of a conscious practice of gratitude. I had just completed a daily gratitude challenge, recording the things I was thankful for. The idea of shifting this exercise to express gratitude to and for others felt very natural.

It is through this new lens of consciously feeling and expressing gratitude that I found myself on an Air Force base with friends at an air show this past weekend.

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Several of my friends are service members. Two are about to serve their sixth tours and another was medically discharged after being injured by a roadside bomb.  I was surrounded by members of the Navy and Air Force, and their families all of whom make sacrifices to protect and serve our country.

After the show, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the end-of-show celebration in a cargo plane hangar with all the pilots from the show, as well as many of the soldiers and pilots stationed on base.

Looking around, I thought to myself, “How many people can say they’ve done this before? Not many!” But as I took in the uniforms, listened to people talk about leaving their families and being left for lengthy deployments, and my friend talked about her experience as a military wife for multiple tours of duty, it became so much more profound.   An overwhelming sense of gratitude hit me very suddenly. It was humbling. It made me even more appreciative of the experience.

To all of our service members and their families here and overseas, all of us on the WeGush team offer our deep gratitude for the sacrifices you make and the work that you do to keep us and our families safe.

cantthankyouenough