This Fabulous Army Life."
I’d like to think that being an Army spouse has enhanced my views on holidays like Memorial Day. It’s one thing to honor an unknown group of heroes, and quite another to remember someone a little closer to home. Seeing the wife of a fallen Soldier in a local restaurant, watching kids whose Dad will never come home playing at the park, passing a unit headquarters with photos of their fallen comrades … common sights around the community where I live … it definitely brings this holiday home, and makes me more cognizant of those I did know as well as the numbers of unknown heroes that I didn’t.
I remember another patriotic holiday, the first I had ever spent off of United States soil. My husband and I were in South Korea and had travelled to Osan to see an American 4th of July rodeo and fireworks. I had been looking forward to it and hadn’t really thought much about the fact that we were in a foreign country that day; but when our national anthem began to play, all of the sudden, I found myself teary-eyed. I was seeing the wonders of our country in a completely different light. I was happy to be with my Soldier in Korea and proud he was serving there … but suddenly I missed my homeland more than I could have imagined. The celebration of our independence as a nation had taken on a new significance for me.
This weekend, I am glad to honor another holiday with its own historical significance. Paying tribute to those who gave all they had to preserve our rights, freedoms, and way of life is an important thing to do. I hope each of you find your own way to honor our heroes. I know families who attend and participate in the parades; and others who take their children to place flags by each headstone at the local Veteran’s Cemetery. What else can we do, I wonder, to show our gratitude?
As we watched our local Memorial Day parade last Memorial Day, it felt good to say, “Thank you for your service!” to those veterans. My oldest son was a part of the parade (as a Cub Scout) and was excited about that. My youngest stayed with me, observing the procession. He was a little surprised when he saw the first veteran’s float. “Those guys are Soldiers?” he asked, “Like my daddy?” Knowing that he holds his daddy in “ultimate hero” regard, I was happy to tell him, “Yes, honey, those guys are Soldiers, just like your daddy.”
For more information, visit Army Well-Being: Veterans and Retirees.