This picture speaks volumes. More often than not, we forget what this holiday is truly about. It's about honoring all of our fallen soldiers, POW's and MIA's. Those who will not or have not yet returned home. This is a time to remember their sacrifices and comfort their families.
While I have not personally known anyone who died or never returned home from war, any holiday honoring soldiers is close to my heart. I come from a military family. My mom's dad served 4 years in the Marine Corps. My dad's father and brother both served 20 years in the Navy. My great grandfather also served in the Navy during WWII. My father has followed in these great men's footsteps and has served in the Army for 23 years and will continue to do so until 30 years has passed.
To say I am proud of my father, and all of my other family member's service, is a huge understatement. I can't even begin to understand their thoughts and the bravery it took to undertake such a task.
However, I truly wanted to write this post to show those who don't have family members that have either been killed or are still active duty the honor and respect we in the military family have for members of the military.
My military experience was in no way "normal". I moved every 1-2 years. I traveled all over the world. I met numerous people from numerous countries. And my dad has been gone far more often than most. I can't even add up how many years of my life he has missed due to deployment and TDYs. I know for a fact that he has missed at least 2 years due to his year deployments, but he has gone on countless others for days, weeks or months at a time. And you know what? I wouldn't give it up for the world. Part of this is because I have been places and experienced things most people never will. Part is due to the military community itself. We are all in the same boat and we stick together. But the main reason I wouldn't trade military life for anything is simply because of pride for my father. My father knows the risks of being in the military, yet he chose to do it anyways. He knew there was a chance for him to go to war, yet he chose to join anyway. My dad, and all the men and women in the military, deserve respect for all they give up. They fight for our freedoms. They leave their families to fight for other people. Even though some people don't support the troops, they fight for their freedoms anyway. If that doesn't deserve respect, then I don't know what does.
*From the wedding*
Me and my awesome daddy XD
While Memorial day is a day of getting together and BBQ-ing, let us not forget the real reason for this holiday. Some families will never see a relative again. While I have been completely fortunate by the grace of God that my dad came back, many families never had the chance to say those words they so desperately wanted to say. They will no longer have the ability to do things with them that they desperately wanted to do. Remember how lucky you are to have loved ones in your family but don't forget those who are not so lucky.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET