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Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day - remembering 

My dad met General Patton. Dad was in the army during World War II stationed in places like Africa, Egypt and Italy. Twice during those three years, Patton came through to survey the troops and spoke words of encouragement to my father. Patton was what legend remembers - 6'6" tall, an imposing figure carrying two pearl-handled pistols at his waist. Dad was lucky enough to return to his family with little physical injury, but always carries with him the horrors of the war he experienced.

My brother served two hitches in Vietnam. He too met some "famous" people but rarely speaks of his experiences there. Tom was scarred by the war emotionally; he was very young at only 17 when he first enlisted and he is haunted often by what he remembers. My brother-in-law Doug also served in Vietnam as did numerous classmates and cousins.

My nephew Doug, Tom's son, experienced Desert Storm. He learned to speak several languages but passed up the opportunity to work for the government as a translator. Luckily, Doug was not wounded and went back home to marry and raise his family.

My nephew JP recently returned from Iraq. He is a career Marine and although initially itching to go over and join his fellow troops, JP was more than excited to return home after several months spent in extremely dangerous situations.

I am exceedingly lucky sitting here today to have my dad, brother and nephews home along with so many other family and friends who have defended our country. There are many, many more men and women who were wounded or killed in service. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who died. It must also be a day to remember those who are still with us who lived through earthly nightmares to keep our nation safe. I am honored to have these brave men as part of my family.

Thank you and your family for all your have given for mine! It is good to remember.
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