Posted by Tracy Solheim
Have you seen the commercials Chevy is airing this month? You know, the ones with the returning service men and women who surprise their children? I can’t tell you how many of those clips I’ve watched online over the past several years only to end up in tears. Every stinking time. You don’t have to grow up a military brat to get misty-eyed watching these ads, but I do believe that having been the daughter of an Air Force officer, I’m able to relate to what the kids in these commercials go through every day. I’d venture to guess that military spouses and parents also feel an extra stomach clench when these types of spots run.
May is National Military Appreciation Month, a time for celebrating those who serve our country and those who keep the home fronts chugging while they are away. I’d like to think that we don’t need a special month designated for this purpose; rather we could celebrate those who defend our freedoms year-round. Wouldn’t it be nice if they’d be offered discounts in stores and restaurants, jobs, and excellent medical care for the rest of their lives? Just something to think about as we honor those who’ve served this Memorial Day weekend.
Kim Lowe of the blog SOS Aloha is a military veteran who’s married to a military officer. This month, she’s been highlighting authors and their military connections on USA Today’s HEA blog. You can see my contribution to the discussion here. For some of us, that military connection is what defines us both as individuals and as writers. And I can tell you that connection is life-long, not month-long.
Memorial Day weekend is always bittersweet for me, though. Today marks fourteen years since losing my father. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on a cloudless June day, three weeks after his unexpected death. It seems a little surreal to think that his internment ceremony was likely captured on the video cameras of multiple tourists, but then, he was defending the freedom of strangers much of his life, why shouldn’t they take part in his funeral? As a military brat, spouse or parent, you share your loved one with the rest of the country. It’s a fact of life. Our family continues to share as my nephew serves in the Marines aboard a ship in an undisclosed location. It’s not easy for our servicemen and women or the ones they left behind. This weekend, as you’re enjoying that cold one at the beach, pool or in the backyard, remember not only those who’ve served, but those who are still serving and their loved ones waiting at home for them.