I have such a deep respect for those who serve, or have served in our military.  My birth-father served in Vietnam, and my brother served in Afghanistan.  Not only am I proud of their selfless service, but I'm also so very proud of my sister-in-law, nieces and nephew who've had to deal with their father's long absences.

I encourage you to wear purple today as today is "Purple Up!" day in honor of military families and children.  Minnesota National Guard Captain Marian Belinski says the day is a great opportunity to honor the children whose father or mother are away for extended periods. Thank you to not only our veterans and current military personnel, but also to their strong families (and especially children) who patiently wait for their safe return.

Thank you veterans and those who serve in our American military, and thank you to the families who make special sacrifices themselves.