Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

As today is Memorial Day, most people think about that extra day off work. Fewer think about the real reason why it's a "holiday". I was raised in a family with a big military background. My dad was in the Army and his dad was in the Air Force. On my mom's side, my grandma was in the Navy and my grandpa was in the Marine Corps - they met at Parris Island, SC. Their oldest son went into the Navy, and 2 of the other boys went into the Marines, where one of them stayed in until retirement. I have some cousins that were in the Army, and I myself was in the Marine Corps. I have married a Marine whose brother is also a Marine, his mother is retired Air Force, and his dad is retired Navy. To say we're a military family is a bit of an understatement. I wasn't raised in a military family, but I was raised very patriotically by my grandma. My children are being raised as a military family. A life that was chosen before they were conceived.

We are in a place nowadays where there is arguments over whether we should still be in Iraq. They want "our boys" to come home. Know one knows better than the families left behind how much we our boys (and girls) to come home, but we know why they're there. My sister once asked me, "How can you be so calm about it?" (referring to Brian having to go to Iraq). I replied, "It could have been me." I was still active duty when 9/11 happened. I re-enlisted that December, although I was going to anyhow, even if the tragedy hadn't happened. Because of my job, I had to go back to school for more training. When I was done with that, I stayed as an instructor. Being in the training environment put me in a non-deployable status, so I was never with any unit that went. I am glad to have not gone, but I would've if it had been needed. It is very hard with Brian being gone, but I am not sorry he's serving his country in this manner. We both knew what could happen when we signed up, although the threat at this level wasn't there at the time. I am very proud of Brian and everyone else that is currently serving. They are there for us.

Just like those who have been there before. With all the military in my family and all the friends/acquaintances I've made because of the Marine Corps, I can only think of one that I personally knew that has died in a war. I also know of my aunt's first husband who was killed in Vietnam (my mom was only 10 or 11, so I was not yet born). Other than that, all I can say is that I've been blessed so far, and Lord willing it will stay this way. Although I know the longer we're in, the more people we know, the more that chance increases.

The other day I was in class, and as it was the first day we did the introductions. It's a resume class, so I did mention that I was in the Marine Corps (gotta put something on the resume, right?). They all said "thank you for serving", and honestly - I don't feel the need to be thanked. I didn't join for the fame or recognitions. I joined because this is my country. As those who joined before me, knowing what could happen - and did happen.

To them I give my thanks. Without them, our country would be in a much different place.

Thank you

The older gentleman in this video is a real Medal of Honor recipient.

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