Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day          
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This is a day we remember those who have lost their lives fighting for our country.  We would not be where we are today without them.  Their courage, bravery, strength and sacrifice will not be forgotten. They are the reason that when you hear the words "United States of America" the first thing that comes to mind is FREEDOM.

There are so many service men and women who can not be with their families today, because they are continuing to protect the freedom that we have the pleasure of taking for granted.  While we enjoy watching our kids march in a parade, they are marching in a caravan through hostile territory.  While we are enjoying a swim in our pool, they are trudging through mosquito infested swamps.  While we are enjoying a day at the beach, they are enduring the extreme heat of a desert.  While we sleep in on the weekends, they are grateful for the 3 hours of shut eye they got before their next 12 hour shift on guard duty.

They miss those precious moments, the sweet hugs and kisses after a bedtime story.  Curling up on the couch with the family for movie night.  They miss graduations, proms.Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday. They miss the funerals of their friends and loved ones. And sometimes even the births of their own babies.

Not to mention their families.  Everyday enduring the heartache of missing loved ones. Whether they are on a tour of duty, or were lost in the line of duty, their absence is everywhere.  The empty seat at the dinner table. The bed for two that now holds one. The empty chair at a dance recital, or baseball game. The unopened Christmas presents under the tree. The missing hug on Mother's Day. The wedding anniversary spent alone.

The special occasions can be so bittersweet, something is missing without that special someone. But what about the everyday stuff.  These families are struggling financially, why is it that one of the most dangerous and difficult jobs yields so little monetarily. Praying constantly for the safe return of your spouse, parent, sibling or friend.

We should remember these heroes not only on Memorial Day but everyday.  These people are REAL heroes, but instead of capes they wear dog tags. If you see someone in uniform don't be afraid to say "Thank You."  Buy them an ice cream cone or a beer on a hot day.  If you know a military family who could use a little help, offer it if you are able.

Today while I watch my kids play in the backyard, I'm going to be thankful the guns in their hands only shoot water.  I'm going to be grateful that I am tucking them into comfy beds, rather than thinking about them sleeping on the ground somewhere in enemy territory.  And I'm going to give my kids an extra big hug and kiss for all the moms out there that can't hug their babies, because they are thousands of miles away defending the rights and freedom of my family.

So today let's remember that in some countries bombings are every day occurances. Let's remember that we have so many freedoms and rights. Let's remember that we are so lucky and blessed to live in a place where we are free to voice our opinions and choose our religion. And let's remember those who are sacrificing so much so we can enjoy our freedom.

THANK YOU, to all the service men and women, past, present and future, and to their families and friends for supporting them.  You all face so many challenges that the rest of us can't even pretend to understand. God Bless you and God Bless America!

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