I’m taking a break from the school-related gratitude posts.

Today, I’m grateful for Veterans. My family has a long history of military service. A great-great grandfather fought in the Civil War. Both of my mom’s parents fought in World War II–grandpa in the Army and grandma in the Navy. My dad retired from active duty Air Force in 1998, and my brother-in-law currently serves in the Air Force.

Many former students chose the military as their careers, and without Offutt Air Force Base, this town I call home would be so different.

I teach in a district that says the Pledge of Allegiance every morning (before it was state law) and has a thriving Air Force Junior ROTC program. Every year on the Saturday before Veterans’ Day, these ROTC students wake up early, brave the elements (though yesterday it was actually pleasant) and march in a Veterans’ Day parade. They organize canned food drives, Toys for Tots, and volunteer at the local food bank. And they sponsor a Veterans Day board every year, highlighting the teachers in our building who once served.

My love and respect for veterans run deep. And I’m grateful for that as well.

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