Day by Day

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I've been trying to come up with a fitting Memorial Day post, and to be honest with you guys, I got bupkis right now.  So many other people have come up with fitting tributes, and pictorial essays, that I look around and think to myself "How can I say anything to match that?"

So let me just be plain and simple, the way I like to be -

I have had excellent leadership in the Army, and I've had horrible leadership.  I've seen selfless service and greedy bastards.  I've spent less time in theater than some, and more time than others.  But we have the best damn military in the world, who does more with less support than anyone could ever dream.  Which might sound trite and cheap when you think about the billions of dollars in the military budget, but we have Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines in over 100 countries around the world right now, building schools, vaccinating kids, teaching people how to farm and how to grow food, setting up water purification sites, acting as deterrents against hostile dictators, rebuilding and strengthening cities, on and on and on and on.  We have Soldiers on six continents full time.  We are spread over the world, and only in a few places are shots actually being fired.

We're not just the world's police force, we're the world's engineering force.  We're the world's construction force too.  We're the world's rescue service.  And we do it better, faster, and cheaper than anyone else.  I'm humbled to be a part of it all.  Grateful as well, because the Army has given me a hell of a lot, starting with the self-discipline I needed when I was a stupid young punk way back when.  But in everything I've accomplished in the military, I did it while standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before me.

There's a Wall of Heros as you enter my building.  It's roped off and lit up, and has the faces of the Soldiers from my unit who have died in combat.  I look at that wall every day, and thank them for what they did and what they gave, so that my wife and I could sit in the comfort of our home here and enjoy life together.  It's a humbling experience to do day after day.  And it's a necessary one, so that the Soldiers and civilians who I work with never forget the sacrifice others made for us.

I won't say "Happy" Memorial Day, because I don't know if cheeriness and happiness is what is required.  So I will simply say to enjoy this day, and remember why it exists.  See you tomorrow.

1 comment:

DANEgerus said...

Wonderfully stated, and thank you for your service.