Memorial day is tomorrow.
For many, it's just a holiday; an extra day off from work. Sadly, when I was younger (childhood, teens) I never thought about Memorial day much. It just was.
I joined the Army Reserve when I was twenty. I was so young. Naive. Boot camp was an experience I'll never forget. I can still hear the cadences in my head, feel the heat of the Kevlar helmet, the heaviness of the ruck-sack. I joined for a variety of reasons, because I was told I'd never make it (challenges; I just can't back down sometimes), and I needed to find a direction.
Oh, I got direction.
The one thing I was told before I signed, by my mother no less, in joining the military that I was a soldier first; and everything else second. I didn't understand that for the first 3 weeks. It was when I was low-crawling with live rounds being shot over my head that I realized-truly- this was for real.
What was I to do? Could I really be a soldier? Did I have it in me?
In school I studied the wars, from the American Revolution, all the way to Vietman (and now there have been more). While I finished my basic training I understood that America is what it is because of the sacrifices made. Lives; have been lost (and still are being lost) to keep our way of life for some who are grateful and others who are not.
There are many differences of opinion; about soldiers, war, etc. I am not writing about politics-that is something different entirely-I am writing about people who volunteered and those that were drafted that went forward and did what had to be done. Some didn't have a choice, others did.
I had a choice and I accepted it. I knew I could and would be sent forth for my country. I may not always agree with everything, but I joined knowing that I was a soldier; by the time I finished basic training; I understood that. Granted; I am not nor ever will be the best soldier; but I did what I promised to do-I served.
I've been out of the military now for about ten years. I am happily married with children. Still; I take a moment every Veteran's day and Memorial day to remember those in the Military that have served and are serving for us. I pray for all those that are living and dead that have seen the gates of hell -so we could have our opportunities and options.
Who do you know; friend or family that has been in the Military?