First off, thank you. Secondly, we are so sorry for what you’ve been going through the last two weeks and for what you must have been going through in the years since you served there.

This is just to let you know that so many people, the ones who served, and the ones who never have, are so grateful for your service and your sacrifice for our great country.

We can only feel a fraction of the pain you must feel witnessing the events of the last couple of weeks. Your service is worthy of far more than this.

Amidst all the finger-pointing and second guessing, just know that the vast majority of this country is grateful for your efforts and so many of us would like to thank you personally.

If we could all send to you any token of our appreciation in the form of a hug or handshake or just to listen to your thoughts. The horrors so many of you have seen and the memories of your many days of sacrifice and those you lost that served beside you, make us so grateful to you and proud of you for your service.

You did not serve in vain. You made a difference in defeating and deterring our enemies and spreading the good will of the American people wherever and whenever you could. Words are just not sufficient enough to express our deep gratitude for what you and so many brave Americans like you have done in that part of the world.

What you've seen has probably made you appreciate even more what we have at home.

America is bruised and battered now, but thanks to courageous, patriotic people like you, we will recover.

We may not be able to see it clearly now, but because of volunteer soldiers like you, we will return to the glory deserving of your service and courage.

God Bless you and thank you.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.

Beautiful sunflower fields to visit in NJ 2021

Among reasons why the “Garden State” remains a fitting nickname for New Jersey — late summer means the arrival of sunflower season.

There are at least six fields, spanning the state. Some are in bloom as of early August, while others are planned to peak from late August to late September.

Calling or emailing before heading out is always advisable if weather appears to be an issue.