Growing up, we never celebrated Memorial Day, but we didn't celebrate anything. Not even Christmas. My Mom was Native American and Irish, with veteran relatives going back to the Revolutionary War. My Dad's Father was a highly decorated WWII Veteran, he did 2 tours and earned multiple Purple Hearts in the process. I never go to meet him, he died before I was born. My Dad's brother was in the Army in Vietnam. It changed him. He was "shell shocked" which is modern day PTSD. Long story short, our service members sacrifice everything up to and including their lives.
My Fiance and I have been together for almost 6 years. When we met, he had just got home from a year in Iraq. He is an Army Reservist and has been in for 10 years. In March of 2009 he left again, this time for 400 days. I was left here to keep the homefires burning. And that I did, but I also learned what it truly means to be a military family. These deployments are the hardest thing I can imagine ever going through (and I have had my share of tragedies)
We had to fight to save our life we had created. We succeeded but it changed EVERYTHING.
I am lucky that my Hawk was able to come home from the War twice. I know that there are countless men and women that never made it back. Many more will not. We don't cookout and drink on holidays like this one. We remember the fallen and are grateful that we did not lose everything. It's easy to look at those pictures of flag draped caskets and imagine my soldier in their place. When I say grateful, I mean shaking, crying, grateful. My soldier is my life, I can't imagine a future without him. Those that we have lost, and the families they left behind, we are honoring them today. Happy Memorial Day