I grew up in a family with a long history of military service, and unfortunately I never appreciated the sacrifice made, until recently.
Interestingly what really slammed it home for me was shooting at one of those gun ranges in Vegas where you can rent any gun. I had a few 9mm rifles both Semi and Fully Automatic. I was pretty full of bravado beforehand, and pretty subdued upon my exit. Every single shot made me jump out of my skin, and I couldn't imagine doing it in a live combat situation, let alone with someone or a lot of someones shooting back at me. I was also gobsmacked by a series (Fictional and dramatized admittedly) called "over there", something worth watching if you get a chance.
When I think of the Sacrifice this soldier and his family have made, and having a young child myself, I wish I had a chance to say more to my Grandfather about how much I admired and respected him.