Along the east side of my house, by my front door, there is a row of many different colors of roses. Every Memorial Day they are in full bloom and we are able to take a few of those roses to my grandparent’s grave. Not this year. We don’t have a single bloom. This what happens when your winter extends into Spring. Even though it’s the end of May, we are experiencing March like temperatures and weather. As I sit here writing this, it is raining and is very cold outside. Blech. So in an effort to perserve my asthma-stricken lungs, I shall not be going out in the rain and cold today. Besides, I have no roses this year anyway.
Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have come before us and our soldiers. Many brave men and women have given their lives for this country. Even when giving their life wasn’t necessary to protect our freedoms back home (i.e. Vietnam, Iraq). Recently a website I frequent asked its readers to share their soldier stories. Neither one of my grandfathers served in World War 2 and I do not come from a “military” family. However, like all the men of his generation, my father was drafted into the Vietnam war. My Dad, because of his religion, is a pacifist and would not carry a gun. He was trained as a medic instead and spent his 2 years in the war saving the lives of POWs instead of taking the lives of the Vietnamese. He still risked his life every day and the horror of what he witnessed there is something that I have yet hear him talk about today. I am incredibly proud of my father for still doing his patriotic duty and sticking up for what he believed in at the same time.
Another soldier story I have is my first cousin, Chris, who is a Chaplin in the Army. So far he has been in Afganistan once and Iraq twice. Every time he is deployed, I feel like I hold my breath the entire time he is gone. I can’t help but think of his beautiful and amazing wife Kristi and their son Victor, and what they go through in Chris’ absence. Even though I don’t support the war, I support my cousin and the other soldiers who have and are serving. Something that Chris said about going to war amazed me. Every time a soldier deploys, they get a substantial amount of money for going. Chris and Kristi put this money toward adopting their child, Victor and have put away the other deployment toward adopting another child. Chris said that going to war wasn’t a sacrifice because it enables him to add more children to his family through the miracle of adoption. That he is willing to make this kind of sacrifice on behalf of his family is amazing to me. What a wonderful father and man he is.