In the 1940s, during World War II, my Dad served in the U.S. Army. Dad had bad eyesight and flat feet! So he was never sent into combat, to the frontlines. He traveled to and served at many bases around the U.S. doing the work assigned to him.
Dad came from a very small family. Now Mom ~ that was a different story. Her parents, my Grandpa had twelve siblings, my Grandma had eight or nine (as best I can recall). And our family life was such that we did see and know these dozens of great aunts and great uncles and their families.
For years, Dad would lightly joke about his military service, saying, "it doesn't matter where they send me, what state or city I wind up in, someone from Helen's family will be living there and will offer me dinner and even if it's just a whistlestop on a long train ride to somewhere, there will be someone to wave hello to".
I feel I am on the train today. I could ride anywhere in my country, I could ride around the world ~ and there would be one of you to offer me dinner, to wave hello. You are all holding me up and I love you and thank you for it.