Sunday, May 30, 2010

2010 Happy Memorial Day

Veterans, Happy Memorial day.

For those who have served, it is often hard to think back about brothers we have served with who have gone before us. I must say it has been an honor to serve with each of them, and it is to honor them that I give everything I have to do what I do.

To those still serving, I am honored to be your brother in arms.

To those who have retired from active service: Thanks for your awe inspiring service. I hope one day to make it to that 20 year mark.

To those who served but did not retire but served: Thanks for playing a part in keeping our nation free from tyranny.

To those considering service in the armed forces of this great land: Don't. If it is something you can even consider saying no to, you are not called. U.S. Military service takes unwavering commitment and a willingness to spill blood, yours or your enemy's, in a fight you may be opposed to. You won't make it.

Only those who can't stop thinking about it, who just feel drawn to excellence, who absolutely must serve will make it. Every one of the brothers I have lost in combat were not there because they signed some silly contract (and they did voluntarily); not because they had considered it and decided it was a great idea; but because they just had to be there, doing what they felt called to do.

On Friday afternoon, the scouts of troop 597 and I placed flags at the headstones at the North Carolina veterans cemetery. The ground was hard and the flag staffs were breaking as we stuck them into the ground. Some of the fathers were smart and brought screw-drivers with them to poke a hole in the ground in order to put the flags in. All I had was a knife, but I cannot think of a more honorable task for a knife to complete.

After placing the flags, my sons and I went over to the Beirut, 9/11 and Vietnam Memorials, to talk about Memorial Day and what it really means.

I will never forget.

Semper Fi,