Tara McClary Reeves: Thank you, veterans, and the loved ones who are there for you

“Thank you for your service.” That’s how my husband and I trained our three children to greet a man or woman in U.S. military uniform, regardless of whether it was Veterans Day. We also stressed the importance of being just as intentional about thanking and celebrating the spouses who quietly serve alongside such national heroes.

Why? Our children’s grandfather, a Vietnam veteran, wears a patch where his left eye used to be; his left sleeve swings empty. Only two fingers on his remaining hand work because of shrapnel fragments embedded within it.

To my dad’s credit, he remains positive and grateful in spite of all this. But while his tennis serve is astounding, and he plays golf, hunts doves, and gives the best hugs, he admits that buttoning his shirt, tying his shoelaces, shuffling a deck of cards, putting on socks, cutting steak, or spreading a pat of butter over a piece of bread — small things you and I take for granted — are big challenges for him. That’s why he is so thankful that God gave him my mom, Deanna McClary: a helpmate who assists him in such tasks and does so with love and good

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