Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day and the hard anniversary

As the end of May approaches, I grow anxious.  While everyone else starts planning Memorial weekend barbeques and enjoys their time off work and school, I remember what Memorial Day is really about.

It was six years ago on Saturday (May 26th) that my world was rocked, our day of infamy.  This isn't the kind of anniversary that you celebrate or look forward to.  It is the one that you hold on to your children a little tighter as you wipe away the tears.  The kind you spend at a gravestone talking to a loved one.  One that you pray no other families will ever have.

Six years ago, I received a call from my husband's Army unit that there had been an explosion.  A truck with five soldiers ran over a remote IED.  Three brave soldiers were killed and two were severely injured.  My husband was one of the injured soldiers and had lost his closest friend (our son's namesake) and two soldiers under his command that day.

I have been patriotic my whole adult life, but as a military wife, you understand patriotism a little differently.  First hand you experience the sacrifices required to keep freedom alive.  When you "sign up" to stand by your man and he gets called to war, you know in your head there is a chance this could happen.  But nothing in life can ever prepare you for that phone call.

Or for those men in uniform to show up at your doorstep.

This year is different for me in that I will be spending it in the same place I got that phone call.  It is also the first anniversary where my husband will be in a combat zone. 

I am blogging about this because it isn't something that is talked about much outside of the Armed Forces.  Even though the war has been going on for 11 years there are still soldiers deployed, families separated and horrible anniversaries.  It isn't news any more.  Another soldier dying is just a weekly occurrence.

And it breaks my heart.

Who am I kidding, I can't make it through the National Anthem without crying.  

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

The land of the free and the home of the brave.

 Gets me every time.

The land of the free.

And the home of the brave.

The point of this post is just that I want this message to carry on:
 We need to continue to support our troops and families.  
 Support those that have come home injured.  
 And to remember the fallen and the families left behind.

So as you roast your hot dogs and attend a parade this weekend - please just stop and honor the flag, say a prayer to families of fallen or injured soldiers, talk to your children about our country, do something that celebrates life and how short it is.

Remember that there are soldiers that have given their lives for this great country.

 In honor of SGT. Clayton Dunn II, his wife, Haidy, and their daughter, Grace.
 In honor of SPC. Harry Winkler III, his wife, Charity, and their son, Owen.

In honor of all the other Armed Forces soldiers lost, but never forgotten. 

Links to more information and ways you can show your support: 
Wounded Warrior Project 
Stop the VA backlog 
Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund 
Freedom Is Not Free 
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America 

1 comment:

  1. Not gonna lie, I teared up a bit reading this. So thankful for all the men and women who've given their all for this country, and thank you for your wonderful blog update about it. Love you guys <3