Before I get started, I’d like to say Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I hope you’re able to enjoy this day. For me, this day is about family and friends. Growing up, we’d gather around the table to celebrate this festive holiday at a different relative’s house each year. The food was always amazing, and the desserts were divine. By the time you finished stuffing yourself, usually around the fourth helping, we’d gather around the television and watch football.

After joining the Navy and having my own family, these annual trips back to my hometown became sparse. Being deployed meant leaving loved ones behind. During these times apart, I developed another family—a military one. Although we couldn’t be home enjoying home-cooked food, we still had a pretty good spread from the cooks on the ships. It’s one of the few times the Navy went all out for their sailors. And the NFL provided the games through the Armed Forces Network. Getting the games were great because it brought a little home to those of us who enjoyed watching football on Thanksgiving.

After retiring from the Navy, being able to meet every year with friends and family has been wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for my service to my country. Although I can never get the time back, I missed with my family, the experiences and relationships I’ve established while serving helped me through those hard times.

Since retiring, I discovered yet another family—a family of writers. Writing never came easy to me. In fact, it had been elusive. A foreign concept. One I didn’t start until 2011. That’s until I discovered the Panhandle Writers Group, a group of local writers who meet once a week to help each other become better at the craft, no matter the genre. I’ve since published six books.

As I sit here writing this article, I realize I’m truly thankful for the many blessing in my life. I have a loving family, great friends, a supportive writers group, and readers like you.

I hope you’ve found something to be grateful and thankful for this holiday.  And if you’re reading this article, I’m grateful for your patience to read all the way to the end.

Happy Thanksgiving


James Glass retired from the United States Navy after 22 years of service. After retiring, he exchanged his rifle for a pen. He and his family moved back to the Florida Panhandle. He’s married and has two children. James is also the President of the Panhandle Writer's Group.

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