We Honor You
My Dad - who left high school at 17 and joined the Army – 82nd Airborne – and lost his left arm above the elbow at the close of WWII. As children, we called that my Dad’s “broken arm”. HOOAH, Dad.
My dear husband – from a small farming community in central Illinois who enlisted in the Navy at age 19 and spent the next 24 years in the Navy. He earned his wings, served two tours in Vietnam and was spit on, ridiculed, called foul names but still considers his years in the Navy to be the epitome of what life is about: duty, honor, country. BRAVO ZULU, dear husband!
To Gary H., John W. and John J., my high school friends (and still friends to this day) who each served their country and its citizens… I’m honored to be counted among your friends…
My sister Paula who was a BAM – a broad-assed Marine – who joined in the mid-1970’s when women didn’t join the military – let alone the Marines! At the time, she told us all that she was one of the “the few, the chosen” but we attributed that to “brain washing”. Now we know different! She was an avionics technician and one who led the way for other women in the services. OORAH, Peeps!
Our oldest son, who decided in his mid-20’s to join the Navy and has recently accepted orders to a new boat… an amphibious assault ship… and is waiting the results for Chief…. who recently received a special commendation and medal for his service accomplishments… BRAVO ZULU, J!
Our middle son who joined the Navy days after high school graduation, did his time and decided it wasn’t for him… but now is thinking Army… (sigh). BRAVO ZULU, E!
Our nephew (by marriage) who serves as a fighter jock in the Air Force and is currently stationed overseas with his beautiful wife and their darling baby son… and who will deploy in the Fall… and can’t imagine doing anything else with his life. (What’s the AF cheer?), to S.
V., R., K … my son’s battle buds who call me “Mom” even if I’m not their real one and have got my son’s back… and when thanked for their service say "proud to do it"... and M. who’s wife decided to wait until he got to the Sandbox to call it quits and does his job just the same… and who has the empathy and support of all his brothers… and us… HOOAH, my guys!
And, not least, our youngest son, willingly and proudly serving… who can’t imagine doing anything else with his life for the moment… who loves his Army brothers as much as he loves his birth brothers and his civilian brothers… and sees the opportunity to serve as a personal honor... who will never know just how proud we are of him… or how we worry… until he has a child deployed. HOOAH, N!
To each of these family members, and to everyone else in the military family who has served, THANK YOU. We honor you because you have honored us with your service. God Bless you all, no exceptions.
Memorial Day is set aside so that one day each year we may formally give thanks to the servicemen and servicewomen who paid the price of our liberty with their blood. It is a solemn day when we recognize that we live in a great Nation where brave men and women have fought and died to preserve freedom for all of us. It is our duty to protect that freedom through our own honorable citizenship and service.
American Soldiers march through time in a ghostly column from Lexington to Gettysburg, from the hedgerows of Europe to the islands of the Pacific. In cemeteries around the world, rows of white marble headstones mark the final resting place of our comrades. Their lives were cut short, and we mourn with their families. Yet we celebrate their spirit, for they placed service to our Nation above personal safety. Their sacrifices to protect freedom embody the noblest attributes of humankind.
Today we are again involved in a struggle against the forces of extremism and violence. As Soldiers, you have answered the call to duty, and you are performing magnificently. America supports you as you go in harm's way. You reflect America's values as you serve our society, and are the best citizens our Nation has to offer. Remember each day as you do your duty that you stand on the shoulders of those who served before you. The legacy of our fallen comrades lives on through your actions.
God bless each and every one of you and your families, and God bless America.”