It's been said a veteran is someone who, at some point in his/her life, writes a blank check payable to "The people of the United States of America" in the amount of "Up to and including my life." Many of you have read this before on my Facebook page and/or in my blog but I wonder how many of you really understand the true meaning of what it says? I served eight years in the U.S. Air Force and it never occurred to me. I knew if asked I would go to war; knew I would do what was asked of me by my country... but it never occurred to me that I was offering my life to my fellow Americans. It was a job, an adventure and it was fun.
As I said - I was in the Air Force. I didn't train for war every day and didn't ever have to face combat. I could have, I suppose. Being a medic with extensive Emergency Room training it was possible I could have been deployed to a war zone but there were very few skurmishes while I was active duty and very few of those involved Air Force personnel on the ground, if any. I was safe.
I can't imagine what our young heroes go through mentally and emotionally when they join the Army and/or Marines knowing they will be sent off to war. Most face this duty with pride and courage. Some don't make it home and those who do are never the same as they were before they went. Families can be torn apart not only by the death of a military hero but by the changes in the ones who return. Still they go. They fight for their country and for each and every one of us. And I, for one, am forever grateful to them.
On this Memorial Day weekend may we all remember the reason we are able to cook out, entertain and enjoy the blessings of our freedoms - the men and women of our armed forces who sacrificed their lives to ensure those blessings for us. A huge salute to those who have served as well as to those still serving and carrying the burden for us all. We owe our freedom and security to all of you. We also owe you our thanks. The people who volunteer their lives in service to each of us are true heroes.
This year my thoughts are with my dear sister-in-law, Tami, and remembering her brave and honorable son, Marine Corporal Chad S. Wade. Love you Tami and my heart is with you this weekend. Thank you for Chad and thank you for your oh, so painful sacrifice. Chad will not be forgotten. Promise.
Please read about "Wings For Our Troops, in loving memory of CPL Chad S. Wade" on Facebook and at www.Wingsforourtroops.blogspot.com, and consider helping if you're able, even if it's only by spreading the word. To do so would honor two heroes, Chad and his incredible mom!
May God bless and keep safe our American heroes who are still out there serving each and every one of us. To those fallen veterans and their families that carry on, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifice. It's because of people like you that our nation succeeded and continues to do so.