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August 2018

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Kristen Butler

Incredible picture. And your words are perfect on this special day.


thanks for sharing that moving photograph!


Thank You...I am a Marine, and you can't imagine how powerful those two words can be. To all those who have served and who now serve our country Thank You...

Charlotte H

Thank you for sharing that photograph...I was too emotional to take shots the day my husband returned from Iraq.

Thank you for also letting your kids know how important it is too never forget. I am certain my husband will be sent to Afghanistan next year, and I will be certain to make sure our daughter knows why he is fighting and how we must be grateful for the little things, as his courage makes them possible every day.

Happy Veterans Day Karen!!


Thank you to Josh Downs, and ALL of our servicemen and women who protect our country. We are deeply, deeply indebted to all of you.
Happy Veteran's Day.


Love that picture Karen.


Thanks for posting this, and a BIG thank you to your husband for his service to our country. Thank you for enduring with him.
This is the land of the free BECAUSE of the brave!

Jennifer C

Thank you for living your daily life with an appreciation of our soldiers. I wish there were more people like YOU!


A big THANK YOU to all of our servicemen and women. Josh there is no mother that could be prouder of their son than I am of you.
Happy Veteran's Day,
Love You

tammy hebert

Thank yor Husband for us. And thank you. Being a military wife with 4 kids I know how much you give too. May they all leave and do their job proudly but return to those that love them.





Thank you, Josh Downs and your amazing family for all you do for our country and my family. Thinking of you today!!


Thank you for sharing beautiful thoughts and reminding us all of the significance of this day. You brought happy, blessed and grateful tears to my eyes.


As I was driving my kids to school this morning, we were talking about the meaning of Veteran's Day and how/why we thank our military folks when we see them in uniform. Tears were sliding down my face. Saying 'thank you' doesn't seem like enough to me either, for all that these wonderful men and women sacrifice.

libbi m.

very moving video. thank you josh downs. thank you to all who have served and are still protecting our country, our freedom. thank you for all you have sacrificed. thank you karen for this post.

Allison McCoombe

The war in Afghanistan is so futile and has nothing to do with our Country's 'freedom'.
Respect today to those who fought in WW1 and WW2

Mrs. Dunbar

You are so very right. All of the servicemen deserve our gratitude, as do their wives and family, so THANK YOU. Tell Mr. Josh Downs, "Thanks!" from the Dunbar Family.

Nicole Kberg

Lovely posting Karen. Thank you to all who serve, have served and will serve.


Thanks Josh Downs! And all other service men and women.

Praying for the VanDeGiesen family who buried Kyle on Friday and welcomed Colin into this world yesterday!

kristan martin

Awesome picture! I feel the same way about Veterans Day and also posted on my blog about it and spoke to my children this morning about its meaning and the importance of thanking soldiers for their service...we even sung Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" song three times on the way to school this morning and I cried a little while singing. My husband is a police officer which is different than being a soldier but still a sacrafice and I admire him for it. Please, thank your husband for his service from the Martin's in Montana.


What a beautiful post. Thank you for reminding me what a very special day today is.


Thanks to your husband, you and your family! I too, get teary when I talk to my kids about Veteran's day. I am so grateful for our service personnel (past and present) and their continuous acts of selflessness!

Terry D.

AMEN! No one could have said it Better! Thank you Josh Downs and your entire family & all our brave young men & women. Never forget them!


Thanks, Josh Downs, and thanks to you, Karen, and your family for the sacrifices you make -- giving up your husband so he can protect our country and keep it safe. All veterans, present and past, are to be honored for their heroic contributions to our country. God bless each of you/them and God bless America.

Dee Rasmussen


Thank you to all veterans. My brother is in the Air Force and the sacrifice he's made for his country, like so many men and women like him, brings tears to my eyes. Thank you Karen for recognizing these heroes in our lives. God Bless America.


Amen. Today's military deserve our thanks too. They have no choice where our government sends them, but they go because it's what they had pledged to do. I thank Josh Downs, my son, his unit that is currently serving in Germany but who will head to Afganistan next year. No one should ever discount the sacrifices that these service men and women and their families make.

amy kelly

Thanks to Josh for being a part of our military! Great post, Karen - I just got a lump in my throat too.


Amen! Thank you Josh and all the men and women who serve and have served our country. God Bless each and every one of you and our beautiful country.

ana roat

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!
a navy wife


Thank you Karen. Beautiful picture and beautiful sentiments.

As for your ETA, some people just don't get it and they probably never will. Luckily for them, there are people out there like Josh Downs fighting for their right to have an opinion and to be able to express it. And as long as they're out there, there will be folks like you, me, and just about all of your other posters who will be there to support them. Happy Veteran's Day!


I'm glad we live in a country where you can have a difference of opinion either for or against the government! It's people like Josh Downs who make it a better and safer place to live!!! Thanks man!!!


Thank you to Josh Downs and all of the men and women who are serving and who have served our country. I am so proud to be an American, and the reason I can say that because of the sacrifice that our vet's have made.


Karen I feel exactly the same way you do about our serving military members and veterans. I think I spend more time crying on this day than any other day of the year. I am Canadian and my son is at university in our Country's capital city of Ottawa. The Rememberance Day Ceremony there is the largest in the country with over 30,000 attending every year. I actually encouraged him to skip class (special circumstances right?) to participate in this patriotic salute to our fallen and current heros and he was excited to be able to go.

Terry Enge

Thank you Karen! I have 3 stepsons in the military now, your words brought me to tears and I know I will be thanking them and any others I meet.

Jersey Girl Anne

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to all our service men and women who serve now and in the past and will in the future and don't forget the vets from the Korean war!!! My father in law served during that time!!!


Well said Karen - My Dad was a navy man, during the cold war. I pray for military famlies all the time. To Josh, and his fellow airmen, a prayerful Thank you!

teresa b

Very well put Karen!! I too feel the same way and get all emotional even just hearing the National Anthem. I am proud to be an American and I am proud of the men and women serving/retired in our military's. I understand our liberty can be taken away at any moment and I am thankful for those who have fought to protect it.

Tammy Mellish

So beautifully written, Karen. The story of the stewardess made me weep. Happy Veteran's Day, Josh, and to the many other soldiers who have or are serving our country.


Thank you! Very well said!

Marica G.

Today is indeed a day in which we should honor all those who have served and those continuing to serve this great nation of ours, protecting and preserving our freedom. My husband has been serving our nation in the Navy for over 15 years; my father and father-in-law are retired Navy and Air Force, respectively, and I cannot express the pride and honor it has been to have such exceptional men in my life. For my husband and I, military life is truly the only life we know.

Please send my sincerest thanks to Josh for his dedicated service and to you, Karen, for the support you give, not only to your children, but to Josh as well. And as a military spouse, I can empathize with the challenges of being "married" to the military. My husband is currently deployed (our 6th one in 12 years) and has missed many special dates, milestones, school programs, dance recitals, the birth of two of our four children, and even just the day-to-day happenings at home. It's tough on both sides and it never gets easier with experience. Despite those challenges, I am truly in awe of what he does... and what all service members (and their families) do.

Terri Paulson-Sasaki

Very cool, thank you.

Michelle (aka mybelle101)

Yes said it *perfectly* Karen, and I completely agreed with your ETA comments. Thank you to all of our prayers and gratitude are with you all, and your families!


Thank you for your thoughtful post and great pic. Thank you to your husband and all those who serve for keeping our way of life. The sacrifices you make are incredible. Thanks again.


Well said. This post brought tears to my eyes. God Bless America.

Kim Bolyard

God Bless them all...thank you for my freedom....and by the way...great photo..



I agree with everything you just said karen in your original post and the ETA. thank you to you and your family and to ALL who have and are serving. My grandfathers served in WWII and my Dad served in peace time and all of them were amazing and have my gratitude and respect for serving in whatever capacity they were needed.


Thank you for what you wrote! This is so well written. I still have chills and could not agree with you more.

Monica W

The difference between us and the enemy is that we value every human life. That is why we have Veterans day. God bless you Josh!You are a value to me. Karen is a lucky girl!!!

Monica W

Just want to add that I am praying and crying for the family that buried Kyle.

Patty Hetrick

I have to say that I completely agree with you. Regardless of anyone's opinion on war or the politicians in charge, the people who make the decision to enter our different military branches and defend our country are so brave and are not thanked enough. Most of us don't realize what a sacrifice they make and how important it is for all of them to do so. If people realized how free we really are in our country then I think they might just begin to see just how fortunate we are to have Veterans who stand up for our rights. ....blotting my tears, too! Speciual thanks to my daddy and my grandpa (may he R.I.P.)


thanks so much for posting this karen. i've set a reminder on the TV to watch it.
and please thank josh for me. i am so thankful to all the men and women (past, present + future) for their sacrifice and service.


I am the proud mom of a United States Marine. To the person that feels only veterans of the past deserve our thanks, I pray that we are never again attacked on our own soil. The men and women that serve today choose to serve because they believe in this country. We need to set aside our differences and political beliefs and thank these young men and women and continually pray for them. Thank you for a wonderful post Karen. GOD BLESS AMERICA, AND GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!


My father served in the Navy many years ago and I am proud of him for that! Thank you Josh Downs for taking care of us all here in the good ole USA!!!
Karen thanks for posting this!


Fabulous post Karen and I couldn't agree with you more on the ETA version!
Thank you for speaking out and standing up for what you believe in.


As always, thank you Karen for highlighting the importance of Veteran's Day...and a huge thank you to Josh Downs too! Unfortunately, not everyone in our country understands or appreciates the sacrifices today's soldiers are making. But our soldiers do it anyway, for love of country, honor, and duty. All veterans, past and present deserve our thanks today regardless of political views. They are what makes our country great!


I feel the same way that you do and think that "thank you" doesn't come close to being enough for our freedom.


I work as a cashier and when I have a veteran (I love it when they wear their ball caps that say "I served in WWII or Vietnam or just says Veteran") or when I have someone from the local military base I always say "Thank you for your service to our country". I also tell them to thank their families because I know that the families are also deserve a pat on the back.
Your post was perfect....God Bless you, your family and all of our men and woman that serve and have served our country.


I lost my father in Vietnam in 1968 and never had the chance to create memories with him. My son who has served in Iraq and will soon go to Afghanistan warms my heart with his devotion to his country. I am from a family of service men. Being an Army Brat and living all over the world was a blessing. I understand more now than ever how much each man and woman that sacrifice for us on a daily, hourly, and moment is truly a gift to us all because we can go through our daily routines knowing we are safe because of them. Lest they NEVER BE FORGOTTEN and always Respected for their choice to serve ALL OF US no matter what the current political stand may be...thank you for your post.

rebecca shelor


Annie L.

I could not even read your post yesterday with out getting tears in my eyes.. You could not have said it any better. Freedom for us and our families are made possible by the soliders who are willing to fight for us. Thank you Karen for your post yesterday. :-)


Thank you, Karen. I actually went right to your blog yesterday, knowing that I would not find a more beautiful tribute to our service men and women than yours--and knowing that it would put me in the right frame of mind for the day. God bless America.

lovely cee.

Josh, we thank you. thank you for your service.


Living 20 min East of Fort Hood we have been living in a fog for the past week. Our children were ad continue to be upset by the actions that occured. We had parents stranded in and off the base. Our flags continue to fly at half mast for the people that were injured and lost their lives. Yesterday my children participated in a special Veteran's day celebration during their chapel services at school. There was not a dry eye in the school. Thank you Josh Downs, Karen and all other military serving now or in the past for protecting me and my family. Bonnie


Just reading your post today...I read in your post that you were thankful to ALL soldiers and their families, not just the current ones serving. Hello!!!! Hug your Josh Downs for me and my family to thank him for his service to his country and a big hug to you for being understanding of his choice.


Yes, Thank you veterans and all the men & women serving our country today & everyday. We are thankful for you self-less act of duty. And thank you Josh Downs.

cindy b.

AMEN...a thousand times...AMEN


Your post gave me goosebumps, twice. It is very eloquent.

If someone posted a comment criticising you, your blog, or making a comment in regards to your blog and Veteran's Day, that irritates me! You have thoughtfully posted your thankfulness to our military before, when there was no "holiday," so if a reader was criticising you...then I think they're ignorant!

I love your blog Ms. Russell and look at it over a cup of coffee every morning. Thank you.


What a beautiful post Karen. I really enjoyed it!


A great post - we should be thankful EVERY day for the service people and their families.

Thanks Russell/Downs family


Saying thank you just not seem to be enough. I am all teary eyed reading today's blog. Thank you Josh Downs and all the women and men who serve and have served our country including my father-in-law, uncles, cousins and grandfather, too.

Beautiful picture of Josh................



Melissa Mann

Beautiful photo! And very nicely said....

Julie McD

Great photo; great post, but Karen, seriously, where's the calf shot of Josh Downs in this post - we're used to that side of him, you know!?! (Just making sure I got a giggle.) And I ditto Dee's comment, that we should also pause to thank the families of our service men and women who go through a lot themselves - physically and emotionally - while their loved one is serving for this country.


My heart and prayers go out to all those stationed at Ft. Hood, their families and the surrounding community.

I also want to thank Josh and all his fellow soldiers stationed worldwide for their service and sacrifice. We love you, we appreciate ALL that you do for us! There just aren't adequate words to convey my gratitude for your patriotism and love of country and fellow man. I send up prayers for you daily.

For you Karen, your family and all families of soldiers, thank you, thank you, thank you for your sacrifice as well and for your devotion to your loved one and your country.

I'm so grateful to our Veterans as well! I've had many family members serve in the past as well as a brother in Vietnam. We can never repay the sacrifices they made for us.

And yes....God Bless America!


My baby boy is in Marine Corps Boot Camp right now at Parris Island, SC. As the daughter of a veteran, and as the wife of a veteran, I can tell you no Veterans Day has ever meant more to me than this one did.

Kathleen Kraft

You know, Karen Russell, I love your photos and I love your writing and I just want you to know I can't talk about this stuff without a lump in my throat and glazed eyes either. Thanks for a terrific post.


Beautiful post Karen. Thanks to Josh and all our brave men and women serving in the military or having served.


at my son's school (on friday) they had grandparents and goodies day, followed by a veterans day parade and assembly. my father went with my son. and we were ALL very proud of my dad that day and always for the sacrifices he made. not only for us, but for all americans.

and personally, i think "that poster" is an ungrateful ass. just sayin'.

Michelle Roudebush

Karen, if I could have "double liked" this in google reader I would have. Thank you for the tip on the wonderful movie, thank you for your sacrifices as his wife, thanks to Josh for what you do, and thank you for your beautiful words.

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