What is Memorial Day weekend to you? In western New York state, it’s the unofficial start of summer when people with summer cottages take the three-day weekend to go open them up for the season. It’s the weekend you can safely plant your flowers or garden without fear of a killing frost. It’s a weekend of parades, picnics and family time. My husband and I make it an annual event to visit the graves of our loved ones to plant geraniums or leave a new stone. We also go to a chicken-bar-b-q at the American Legion in my home town and enjoy listening to a country music band that we know personally. Continue reading “Remember the Fallen”
When my parents arrived for my son’s birthday party, my father was red-faced and sputtering. “We couldn’t turn off the side road because a cop blocked it for almost five minutes while a line of motorcycles flew by.”
“Did a lot of the bikes have American flags attached and were the riders wearing vests with lots of patches?”
“So what. They made us late.”
“I think you missed seeing the front of the line. That was the Patriot Guard escorting our neighbor’s cousin to her funeral. She was killed in Afghanistan.”
“Oh. I guess she deserved a cop escort.”
In response to Charli Mills May 3, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) use a line in your story. You can think of the variation of the word meaning, or you can think of visual references. Go where the prompt leads.
Every May 1, across all branches of The United States military, Americans honor the sacrifices of the combat wounded, ill and dying on Silver Star Service Banner Day. [courtesy National Day of Calendar]
I’ve been involved with the military a long time and this is a new one on me though the calendar says this day was established in 1917. Maybe I’m not as observant as I think I am. If there is a blue star banner hanging in someone’s window that means they have a family member that is currently in active service to our country, the United States. If there is a similar colored flag with a gold star that means the military member died while in service to our country. And today I am learning that the silver star banner means the service member came home from combat wounded or ill. Continue reading “Thank a Veteran”
I dare say there are millions of people born after l980 that have no memory of the Viet Nam war, what it cost our country and more importantly what it cost the men and women that fought in it. Many of the participants went to “the Conflict” because they were drafted. Others went out of duty to their country. Unfortunately almost all came back to jeers and were afraid to be seen in public with their uniforms on. I find that disgraceful. Continue reading “National VietNam War Veteran’s Day”
It’s National Military Spouse Appreciation Day. This day is always celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day. We all know, in the past that would have been very appropriate. The stereo-type still has most people thinking it’s only men in the military, but that is no longer the case. I didn’t check, but perhaps this day should also be celebrated the Friday before Father’s Day.
I’m an ex-spouse of an Air Force member. I’m proud that I was able to serve my country in that capacity. Serve, you ask? You’re darn right! We left our families behind, went where we were told, when we were told, and my kids have no real roots as their schools changed as often as our address did. I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining, but a transient life at the will of Uncle Sam is a lot less grounded than a life close to your own hometown with the folks handy to call on when a baby is about to arrive or one of the kids is sick.
In war-time when a military spouse is deployed, the other spouse is left holding all the responsibilities of the family. I have had people say to me, “Well, you knew that’s what you signed up for.” That’s true, but again, it’s not the same when you are in a foreign country or living on a military installation that is in the boonies of a state you are unfamiliar with. The best part is, the other spouses are in the same situation, and you bond quickly with the neighbors. The sad part, is when you get transferred, you rarely hear from those people again. It truly is a nomadic way of life. In my case, the experiences I had and the places I got to live and visit made up for that.
Some civil service jobs give preference to ex-military members. I feel that should also be extended to the ex-military dependents but I doubt that will ever happen.
I fly an American flag, correctly lit, 24/7. My time as a military spouse has given me an understanding that people not connected to the military don’t have and I’m proud of it. Next time you see a military member and think of saying thank you to them, add, and to your family too. I’m sure they will appreciate it.