On Feb 24th 2008 two men in Class A Army uniforms knocked on my door.. my son David called me to tell me they were there, I had been shopping… so I walked into my living room knowing my oldest son Micheal had been killed while serving in Iraq. And yet those two men still uttered those Ugly words. “We regret to inform you”.. since then many people have told me my son is a hero, and he is. But I often wonder why he had to die for people to see he was a hero. You see to me he became a hero on Sept 24th 2005 when he walked into the US Army recruiting office and signed that check up to and including his life to defend this nation.
Every young man and woman who serves is a hero.. there are many heroes out there who have served. I implore you men and women who have served, You heroes, to share your stories with our young people. Keep the memories of those we have lost alive through those stories. Keep the history you lived alive so maybe future generation won’t make the same mistakes we have. Tell the stories of your sacrifices and heroism so that this nation can truly be grateful for the sacrifices made in defense of all the freedoms this Nation holds for us.
I would like everyone to take a moment to look upon the flag and all it represents.. Each time you look at this flag remember; “The American Flag does not fly by the wind, but by the last breath of the fallen soldiers that died to protect our country.” This weekend as people gather to BBQ and laugh and spend time together. Some will take a moment to remember our Fallen.. but we must do more than just remember them. We must honor them.
A few weeks after my son was killed an SSgt at the recruiting station and I were talking… we had been friends for some time and he was very close to my son. He said ‘this is so hard… I don’t know how you do it’… then he was quiet looked at the ground and then looked back at me and said “it’s easier over there… you have a mission to focus on over there.” He doesn’t know it but that conversation probably saved my life. I realized in that moment I had to have a mission. My mission became to take care of my son’s brothers. And by doing so I honor my son. I could no longer take care of my son and he could no longer take care of the men he served with. The ones he fought for, the man to the left, the man to the right, so to honor my son it became my mission to take care of his brothers in arms the best I could. In doing so I have gained many blessings.. So many of our nation’s best have embraced me as family and become such important parts of my life. Even from curses come blessings if we are willing to look for them and my soldier sons have been a blessing. I nearly passed that blessing by until someone helped me find my mission to honor my son and all those who have fallen.
We best honor our fallen by taking care of those who come home… especially our wounded. So I ask you to honor those who have Fallen every day by taking care of those who come home… and those still serving.
One last note.. I do not know the author to credit but I felt I needed to say this to our fallen…
You shall never be forgotten
for though you may be gone from this
world your spirit will live forever
It lives in the laughing eyes of children
who are free from want and oppression
It lives in the bravery and conviction
of those who still struggle for liberty
and it lives in me for I promise
to cherish every breath of freedom
that you paid the ultimate price to secure
I ask only that I might be granted some
small fraction of your courage and strength
to face the challenges of my life with an
honor and dignity worthy of your legacy
May you rest in eternal peace
safe in the knowledge that your sacrifice
was not in vain
To all you who have served.. to all you who do serve.. thank you and take luck.