There are very few things in this world for which I would lay down my life. Like most of you, the list is a short one that’s limited to those I love best, and would include a stranger in only the most dire, impossible to imagine, circumstances.
Dying for a cause… well it would have to be a very good cause. I (selfishly) value my life, I’m not very brave and I don’t do well with hardship. Guess it’s a good thing that the real challenges to humanity came in the years when people were a lot tougher… a lot less indulged and comfortable.
I’ve talked before about the incredible, selfless acts of first responders and ordinary heroes, but with Memorial Day on the horizon I’m thinking now of the men and women of our military (and other government service). And the people they leave behind, as you see here. These men and women are able to look past personal danger and sacrifice in a way that I cannot, they put their lives on the line, face hardship and separation and a very real chance of dying far from home. And they volunteer for the privilege.
Amazing to think that our military serve people they’ve never met, people who don’t miss them or mourn them, or even know their name. But this hardly matters for these souls seek no glory, they serve their country and come home, some wearing war wounds they’ll carry forever, some in flag draped coffins. Sadly, shamefully there are all too many times when veterans haven’t been shown proper respect and gratitude.
On this start-of-summer holiday meant to honor veterans of all U.S. wars who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice — a life for our freedom, I pause to remember you. To thank you for giving up your very existence to a higher purpose. To applaud your bravery and recognize the sacrifice made every day by those who love and miss you. To honor you in any way and every way possible. American’s everywhere need to get angry, to be ashamed of the lack in veterans care and services, and demand changes.
We must keep faith with our military men and women who’ve served and come home, remember and honor those who have died so we could be free. As you enjoy the weekend, no matter what your plans or who you’re with, I hope you take a moment to remember (and thank) military heroes like Travis L. Youngblood and those who loved him.