memorial day

How do you thank a soldier who gave up his or her life? How do you pay back the daily torture of PTSD or the agony of life long pain many soldiers live with every day? Just how do you say thanks?

A soldier becomes a soldier for a hundred different reasons. When I enlisted in the USMC back in ’67, truthfully, I didn’t even consider that I was helping my country. Patriotism was low on my list. Being John Wayne and having an incredible adventure was tops.

Reality rocks everyone’s world sooner or later no matter what path they take. The reality of serving with friends who die or are horribly wounded comes like a thunder clap.

Regardless of the reason a person joins, many give up their health or life as an indispensable pawn in a power struggle that has lasted for eons. Their death or their wounds do count. They count because the “enemy” this time has to be assured that the battle will continue regardless of the casualties.

This country is far from perfect but there are men and women out there who are the reason we can still go forward and not backwards. Whether they joined for the adventure or for a hundred different reasons, they are the wall that protects our progress. Every time one of the bricks in that wall crumbles, another takes its place, thank God.

How do you thank a soldier who died or was wounded? You exercise your freedoms. You vote. You volunteer. You help. You send a prayer to his or her family. You live in gratitude for that wall.

There is no such thing as Happy Memorial Day. There is only Memorial Day, Thank you.

(c)2015 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride

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