Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Salute To My Soldier



The blogging world was packed with tributes to our military and the country this past Memorial day.  You could barely open a bog page without seeing one.

I wasn't ready.

I couldn't write even one word on the topic on Monday.

A Family Military Window Flag that tells the world
that this family currently has a love one in the military
 or has passed away while serving our country.

My thoughts were so mixed and conflicted on that day. They always are in conflict on Memorial Day.  I couldn't just throw out a simple "memorial day thank you post."  I wasn't in the right place mentally.

Maybe today I can.

Maybe Memorial Day shouldn't be just one day in May!

Maybe we should reflect and thank our military a little more frequently than one day a year!

So here goes ...



I love the United States of America.

I believe this country has done more good in our world than bad.

I believe the ideals we were built on still vibrantly live within our boundaries and inside our citizens.

Our people are inherently different because of our national ideals and young history. 
(Note:  not better people, just different)

I respect and support our citizen soldiers who set aside their personal lives to protect and serve.

And I strongly believe in defending all of that!


I wish there was a way to compromise those thoughts with these.


So many precious lives were lost fighting the wrong battles.

So many young lives changed forever by battle injuries both physical and mental.

National and international leadership replaced by political posturing and misguided egos.

A tarnishing a national reputation for personal agendas.

As a child of the Vietnam era, I fear the power of our nation used irresponsibly.  


By the standards of Europe or China, we are a very young nation ... a "teenager" by nation building standards.  But how scary for all ... to find this "leader of the free world" to be a virtual teenager.

Matt and I at his "send off" to Boot Camp Party
My family has been little touched by war.  All my family survived WWII without damage and have participated in no other conflicts since then.
  
The cake at his party
"Good Luck Matt in the USMC"
My son served in the Marines for 4 years during more peace-able times.  I struggled greatly then with his choice to serve in the military.  I wanted college and civilian life for him.  He had different goals.  I did not cover myself with pride at his choice.  I was not a good military mom.  

Matt's Boot Camp Graduation!
The white cap to the left is Matt.

For me 
Memorial Day is a reminder
of all the sacrifice and pain our service personal and their families
endure willingly to give muscle to our country and our leaders.  

It is also a yearly reminder of my short comings as a military mom
and the regret I continue to hold
that I could not put aside my own personal agenda for my son
when he was choosing the higher (and the harder) path of military service.  

Now 15 years later I am proud of the choices he made in his life and his service to our country.
I wish I could live those 4 years over again and do the right thing!
Now I salute him and the US military
 who had a strong hand in making him
 the fine man he has become today.

My soldier, Matt and my daughter Kris.
1993

We learn from our children ...
if you don't believe that, you aren't paying attention!

Happy Memorial Day - a few days late!

8 comments:

  1. That is a lovely post, I am in awe of the US in that you do take so much pride in your military personnel. You join the forces here it is just a career, no fuss is made each year of what you are doing, in fact most people do their time and then slip into another career with just fond memories, we don't celebrate them as visibly as you guys do we just seem to be constantly informing more that there is no money for that career and can you find something else to do! I do love some of the things you celebrate in the US I love your enthusiasm for life, keep being like that.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your recognition of some positive elements of our culture.

      Military service at this time in our history is an option. To choose this service means you earn less money and risk your life in what often is described as "police actions" rather than a "war." From my perspective, it is pretty much semantics if you are standing in another country in a military uniform and holding a loaded fire arm. And at one point in our history (Viet Nam) you were not respected for doing military service either. Of course we had the "draft" then - you had no choice. We have matured as a nation a bit since that time.

      But you recognize an element of our collective conscious - we strive! We are enthusiastic and we celebrate. And we are learning to be reflective as well ... thank you for visiting my bog.

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  2. Beautiful post and it reflects the struggle in the hearts of many whose children serve.

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    1. Thank you. My heart sincerely goes out to the parents of our soldiers. My cousin's son is in the Army and is now in the middle east somewhere. I never had to live through that with my son. I didn't have to live through half of what is expected now of family members.

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  3. Authenticity in word, thought, deed . . . . I feel proud to have met you. Continue to speak your truth.

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  4. Interesting post. I understand your mixed feelings (now in the past). I agree that we can learn a lot from our children. Sometimes they can teach us a thing or two about who we are ourselves. Belated Happy Memorial Day!

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    1. "Sometimes they can teach us a thing or two about who we are ourselves."

      Certainly my son's time in the military was not my most shining hour. It is not how I see myself. And the past cannot be changed. But when you are wrong about something ... like I was wrong ... it has to be faced. Memorial Day and Veterans Day are days when I think back and remember that I was wrong and he was right.

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