Monday, May 27, 2013

Remember Them

photo credit: Mimi Kramer

It's Memorial Day today.  
I'm pretty sure this fact hasn't gone unnoticed by most of us.
But what have we done to truly remember the men and women who have paid for our freedom with their service?  With their own freedom?  With their lives? 
Too often we don't do much but give the holiday a passing thought.  Maybe think about it briefly when we take in a parade. 
Maybe just be thankful for an extra day off? 

I want to take just a moment to express my thankfulness.  

I have a a husband who was in the Air force, a father who was in the Navy, an Uncle who was in the Air force, and a brother and sister-in-law who are still serving in active duty in the Air force. I think there was some great grandpa's who had some involvement in the armed services not to mention cousins and other relatives too. 
Each of them has given their time and made sacrifices to serve our country.  I am so grateful to them all.

I especially want to give a shout out to my sister-in-law and brother right now.  They have been active duty soldiers for over 21 years.
Currently my sister-in-law is serving overseas in Kabul Afghanistan.

Mimi in her battle-rattle. photo courtesy of Mimi Kramer

She has left her husband and 16 year old daughter and 11 year old son and answered the call of duty to travel far from home into a hostile environment.  She isn't doing it because she wants to be separated from her family, but because it is what duty demands. While she is over there, she will give her all and do her job to the best of her ability in service to our country.  In service to you and to me.
 So, when you are thinking of our soldiers both past and present, please remember my brother and sister-in-law. Remember their sacrifice.  Remember my niece and nephew. Remember their long days and longer nights being separated from their dearest loves. They will be separated for over 6 months.  That's a long time in a 16 and 11 year old life.  My sister-in-law is missing out on sports competitions, sweet 16 birthday parties, milestones, good night hugs, kisses good morning, and a lot more in between.  My niece and nephew are missing out on the presence of their mom who has been ever present in their lives.  My brother is missing a partner, a friend, a lover. He has to carry the load at home on his own. He has to go to bed alone each night and wake up alone each morning.  And so does she. She has been enduring  a high stress, high danger atmosphere every day.  She has been risking her life, every day.  When they are reunited as a family, they will each be different than they were when they were first separated. They are giving so much for us.
Are you grateful?
Remember that even today while you were enjoying your brat fry and parade there are soldiers on the front lines, facing danger, living in hostile territory doing their duty for our country. 
Sacrificing so that we might remain free.
Take some time to remember them.  
More importantly, take some time to pray for them.  Pray for all the soldiers who are out their doing their duty. 
And be thankful.  
Without them, we wouldn't be free.

My brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew just before she was shipped out.

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