Memorial Day to most people is just another reason to kick back, enjoy a long weekend and drink and party. For me and other people directly involved in military life it is much much more than that. As I sit here contemplating how many people have died for my freedom I am completely overwhelmed. How could I ever say Thank you enough to their families for what they have sacrificed? How many children have grown up without their Father's or Mothers just so that I can enjoy living in a "free" country? The truth is that freedom is NOT free.
I also have a deep internal struggle with memorial day because it is a yearly reminder of how close I was to being a widow myself. There is nothing easy about taking care of a severely wounded Veteran. My husband's near death experience in Iraq has totally changed the course of my life as his wife and caregiver forever. When I married him I never envisioned that our life together would be what it is now, however I am incredibly grateful that he is still alive and with me. I will never assume to understand what it is like for a widow to wake up every morning alone, just as that widow will never be able to understand the ins and outs of constantly caring for a Veteran that has so many needs. I will not compare our situations for they are not the same. The point is some gave all and all gave some. Even the families who have gone through deployments and had their service member return to them healthy and in one piece without being injured have sacrificed SO much for our country.
It seems that with this war going on forever it seems that the American public has grown tired and weary of supporting our troops. You no longer read about those who have died in the newspaper. It seems as though for the most part people could care less if they even think of it at all. I will never forget for I live with the reminders of my freedom constantly, not only through my husband but through friends of his that didnt make it home. I know a few widows and my heart goes out to them all the time. They are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. If you do nothing else this weekend, I want to you stop the BBQ's and shopping and truly think what it is like for some of these young children to grow up without a father or mother. I want you to think of the spouse who is suddenly a single parent. They are deserving of your time and respect. Let's take time to truly honor them and the life and legacy of their loved ones who paid the ultimate price.. they gave their lives for our freedom. God bless each and every one of them for their selflessness and their families who must learn to live without them but will never forget them.