Today is Memorial Day. The last day of a 3-day weekend. The day that kicks off the summer season here in the United States. It is a happy, carefree day. But, it is not carefree for everyone. And that thought is exactly what has been on my heart recently.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have caught on that there was a bit of a scare last week regarding Tommy's deployment and his safety. Relief flooded my mind when I heard from him, but sorrow was soon to follow. One of the soldiers in his sister unit in Iraq was tragically killed while on a mission. While this does occasionally happen for units that are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is the first time that it has hit Tommy so close to home. Unfortunately, I have experienced the loss of a friend because of war and I hate that now Tommy has had a similar experience.
I wanted to take today to thank those who have sacrificed. Before this deployment I always thought that the sacrifice was safety. That they were risking their lives to fight for our country. And please do not mistake what I am saying, they absolutely are. But there is so much more that each of our service men and women sacrifice daily than just their safety. They sacrifice time with their babies, anniversary celebrations and long hugs during hard times. They temporarily do without the physical affection of their family and their favorite meals. They give up the comfort of a soft bed, clean sheets, and a comfortable temperature in the room. They deal with the longing of home on a daily basis. I know these are small things... but these things add up. Not to mention that some of them sacrifice their healthy mental state the day that they experience things they thought only happened in hell.
They sacrifice so much. And I was so naive before to think that they simply risked their lives... and when they returned home all was well again.
I say it again - please do not discount the sacrifice of safety. It is huge. It is life. But the sacrifice is so much more.
So today I want to say how much I appreciate our service men and women. I respect your service very much. I am grateful for each and every one of you.
And to our friends... Nick Mason... my cousin Chris Samson... and to the recently deceased MAJ Culver... I thank you. For sacrificing more than your life.
image credit: cwellsphotography