Today is Memorial Day, the unofficial first day of summer. A day of great celebration across our country. There will be barbeques and picnics, hours by the lake, or tanning by the pool. Time spent with family and friends.
It’s also a time of remembrance for all those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. A day when we honor our fallen heroes, those men and women who gave their lives so that we may live in the greatest country on earth.
As many of you may know, I’m a veteran. Once a long time ago, I raised my right hand and swore to protect and defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. It’s an oath that never expires and a promise I’ll carry to my grave.
And yet, my time in the Army was as uneventful as it’s possible to be. I never saw combat. I was never deployed to a hostile area. I never faced the nightmares that often come after impossibly stressful decisions are made in a split second of chaos.
I am a very average peacetime veteran who served my time and got out to go onto other things. There are millions of us all across this country. We’re the ones who put on the uniform for a few years and then went on with our lives.
I’m very proud that I made the choice to serve. I learned a lot of difficult lessons. I gained a new confidence I never would have found without the Army. I got to travel to Europe and see places I may never have visited.
But I’m no hero.
I’m just your typical, average one term Vet.
I understand the desire to show appreciation for those who served and I accept those sentiments when they’re offered. But I do so on behalf of my brothers and sisters who gave so much more than I did. I do so for the Seamen who were lost in Pearl Harbor and for the soldiers who never returned from Normandy Beach. I remember those who came back from Iraq draped under a flag covered coffin. I remember the soldiers like my father-in-law who served four tours in Nam.
Those are the people I thank for my freedom. They’re the real heroes who deserve our honor.
So while I appreciate the sentiment behind the gesture, on this Memorial Day, stop and say a quick prayer for those souls we lost along the way. And thank God that they were there for all of us.
But don’t thank me because I stand in awe of those great men and women too.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day filled will good health, beautiful weather, family, and friends. And let’s not forget those who gave everything so that we all might enjoy another day of freedom.
God Bless you all and God Bless America!