I don’t have a Memorial Day side dish or red, white, and blue fruit pie recipe today…
Memorial Day seems to be all about the beach, BBQ’s, and parties. Thats mostly what it meant to me 10 years ago as well. I knew what the day stood for and respected that, but it was a time to hang out with family and friends foremost. Today, it has a much different meaning. It is truly about remembering those people who have died protecting our country and everything that is stands for. I don’t understand people who are anti-military. I understand not agreeing with being at war, I don’t even really know where I stand on that. But how can you not at least support and respect those people who are in the military? Doesn’t everyone understand that if we didnt have people who volunteered to put their own life on the line that we would be forced to use a draft and they themselves may be forced to serve in the military?
My husband is Marine Corps Pilot. I may not necessarily agree with every war or deployment, but I support him 100%. He has a hard job and works incredibly long hours. Do you know that if he got paid by the hour he would make only a couple dollars an hour? When he is deployed he works 16 hour days 7 days a week. getting an 8 hour block of time for sleeping and eating. When he is home, he often doesnt work much less.
Being a military family is HARD. There is no denying that. I am often acting as a single parent and it breaks my heart when Alyssa asks when she will see her Daddy again. Over the last 2 1/2 years he has been deployed for almost an entire year of that and has been away for weeks at a time for training exercises a total of about 4 months. But he has always came home, and thats what matters. There are other families who are not so lucky. I can not imagine what those families must feel. I got a small glimpse into that feeling during a deployment once. We thought Dave had been killed or injured in action and I had to sit by my door for 12 hours just waiting for someone to knock on my door and inform me that my life just got flipped upside down. And while Dave was ok luckily, it was bittersweet because that meant it turned out to be friends of ours instead who got that dreaded knock on the door and calls to inform of injuries.
So remember when you are eating your hamburgers with your loved ones on Memorial Day that there are so many families out there who are separated, either temporailily or forever, who give us all these luxuries. And it is just that, a luxury. I no longer take being together for birthdays, christmas, and holidays for granted because we often are not able. I pray often for our neighbors, friends, and Dave’s former classmates who have died. And while I may not agree with every political decision that affects what the military does, I will always support and respect everyone who has served.
If you get the chance, buy the marine or soldier’s coffee who is behind you in line at Starbucks or their meal at the table next to you. Trust me they will appreciate it more than you know!