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Military Appreciation Day at Keeneland always falls on a Sunday during the month of racing and always features recent basic training graduates from the closest military installation, Ft. Knox. Hundreds of men and women who have survived rigorous training, isolation from loved ones, and complete re-molding pour into Keeneland for one day at the races.
Taken with our point and shoot and not the big fancy camera, you can just barely make out a line of Soldiers on the inside track at Keeneland.
And it is our opportunity, as a local community that supports them, to thank them for their service…buy them lunch…offer our cell phones so that they can call home for the first time…prove that they are appreciated for the sacrifices they have already made and the ones they will be asked to make.
Except…I never do. I am shy and I admit that it’s completely ridiculous. How can I encourage other civilians to openly thank our troops if I can’t do it? And I'm an Army Wife! As Soldiers spilled out of Keeneland on that atypically tropical April day, I wanted to clap…I wanted to scream thank you…I wanted to hug one or two or all of them. But I was paralyzed by the thought of being the only one. What if everyone looked at me like I was an idiot? What if I wasn’t supposed to do that while they were moving in formation? So, I stood still and at attention, showing them all the respect, but doing so silently.