Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Special Memorial Day

Memorial Day has always been special to my family.  Many relatives have served in the U.S. military.  This tradition continues today.  My sister, who is career Army, just returned from another overseas deployment.  She’s been serving for almost 30 years and is a Chief Warrant Officer 5.  Not having served in the military myself, I understand that rank is a pretty big deal.  Her soldiers call her “Chief.”  Her son, a Marine, received the Purple Heart for injuries received in Afghanistan.  Another nephew, also a Marine, returned safely from Afghanistan last year.  I could go on and on.  That’s the life of a military family.

Ryan Fitch with his Afghani interpreter
So, why is this Memorial Day special?  It’s because my own son returned to U.S. soil last week from a six month deployment to Afghanistan.  My wife and I still haven’t been able to see him.  He’s in Arizona at his base.  His wife (and dog) stayed with us while he was deployed.  It was a rough time for her.  All the missed holidays, birthdays, etc.  He knew what he was getting into, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  We’re just glad he’s home safely.  That’s the life of a military family. 

While working a shift at the Lambert USO this past Friday night, I spoke with a Marine who missed his connecting flight on the way to his home in Florida.  It wasn’t just any missed flight.  It was a flight to get married the next day.  He had to call his fiancé to break the bad news.  He wouldn’t be there in time to greet the 250 invited guests.  That’s the life of a military family.
The men and women of our military would tell you that they’re just doing their job.  I think it’s much more than that.  One only needs to visit Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery for proof.

1 comment:

  1. Amen Chief! We must continue to educate as to the reason for this holiday...the beginning of summer is just a novelty.


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