When I was pondering what I should write about in this commentary, I found that Wednesday is National Chocolate Chip Day and Saturday is Armed Forces Day. While chocolate chips hold a place close to my heart and waist, as a former Navy man I have to take these moments and write about the men and women who serve.

We can never overstate it ó thanks to all who don the uniform and protect all the freedoms that most of us take for granted.

Sometimes, as I work closely with the men and women of the armed forces, I forget what real courage they have.

Itís easy to lose sight of what is truly important and on a bad day my biggest mistakes as a journalist may cost a lot of red ink to be wasted correcting something Iíve written. To a Soldier, the constant vigilance and attention to detail is not just obsessive compulsiveness gone wild, rather it is the way that they protect and save lives. There is very little room for error.

As a Navy veteran I know and understand the dedication and pride shown by those who chose a life of service in the military. Armed Services Day not only affords us another chance to reach out and say thanks, but it gives Americans an opportunity to educate themselves as well.

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On Aug. 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force days.

The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the armed forces under the Department of Defense.

One of the best things about the day is that itís all about all of the armed forces celebrating together.

Just a bit of insight into the different branches of service reveals that while all the branches of service respect one another itís a bit like a sibling rivalry. Nothing over the top, but itís like brothers and sisters trapped in backseat of a car for a four-hour car ride to grandmaís. They would never let an outsider pick on the other, but just like any long car ride they love agitating each another.

While I have friends in every branch of service and I love nothing more than to rub it in their faces when Navy beats them in any sport, I would not trade them or their branch of service. Iím proud to have worked and served side by side with every branch.

Armed Services Day is like a truce and at least for one day, all branches of service put aside the jokes and celebrate together. For that one day we can all ride in the car together without complaining that someone is bothering the other or asking the question, ďAre we there yet?Ē The answer is yes. The armed forces have been here since 1775 and will continue to guard all the things we cherish ó thank you!