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Appreciating Our Military

soilder and childHave 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.

Military Appreciation month
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.

sos aloha
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.

Remembering Grandpa

Remembering Grandpa

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.

Memorial Day Thoughts

On this Memorial Day, I thought about what this day means, what it means to my family and friends.

For me, it’s about the American way of life. It’s the day we celebrate the lives of those we lost, share memories of our friends and family members who have gone before us, fought for our rights and gave their lives doing so. It’s a simple day with a simple message. Thank you. Gratitude. Appreciation for all we have.

American Flag

And I’m not talking material possessions. I’m talking about freedom. Far too often I see people who take our personal freedom for granted. While I understand it’s hard for some to understand exactly how valuable a commodity it is when they’ve never been without it, I feel it puts those very same freedoms in jeopardy. Will they not realize what they had until they lose it?

Maybe. But as I look around the world today, our country, our government, I don’t think it will long be before the realization hits home.

If we give up our freedoms, eventually we will end up living under tyranny.

“Oh, that won’t happen here. This is America.”

Yes, this is America. And we are human.


Happy Memorial Day!

On this holiday, I’m going to make my post very short and sweet so those of you kind enough to read can get away from the computer and enjoy the day with your families and friends.

The parents on my son’s baseball team were helping me brainstorm blog ideas and one fine gentleman (you know who you areJ) suggested I write about how kids these days don’t really know what Memorial Day celebrates. To most kids, the holiday represents a long weekend, the start of summer, when the pool opens, and when dad fires up the grill after a winter hiatus.

It’s sad to think that even in the middle of a war, most of our youth don’t have an appreciation for the sacrifice brave men and woman have made and continue to make on their behalf. Come to think of it, most adults don’t have the proper appreciation for the holiday, either.

So be sure to raise your flag today, thank someone in the service (past or present), or say a prayer for those fighting for our country and away from the ones they love. Don’t ever forget what a privilege it is to be an American. I’d love to put a name to our prayers, so if you have a loved one or a friend serving our country, please let us know in the contact section. I’ll start: my nephew Christopher is proudly serving in the Navy. We miss you, bud.

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