Honor The Brave

Leonard and Me (2014)  Here, my husband and I are at a retreat providing both caregivers and their loved ones much needed respite. We caregivers need occasional relief—my exhaustion probably shows in this photo!

As a combat medic, my husband, Leonard, served nobly through sweat and tears. He deployed to the Gulf twice – Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia – and performed countless acts to save his comrades. On Memorial Day, we honor those many soldiers who, like the comrades my husband fought so hard to save, lost their lives in battle. I am fortunate to have my husband. He returned home, broken—not the same—but present. However, many spouses, mothers, fathers, siblings, and children have lost their loved ones in war and are left with their own deep wounds— of loss and grief.

As the wife of a wounded service member, I often grieve the loss of the husband I once knew and the familiar life we once shared. With my husband a very changed person, I seem to start all over again nearly daily; we map out our lives as best we can. I am fortunate that he survived.

It saddens me when I consider the thousands of people who also grieve for the loss of a loved one through service. These service members lost their lives in combat, leaving their survivors with painful loss, abiding grief, and the tough challenges of starting their lives over. A wife no longer has her husband … a mother no longer has her son… a child no longer has a father… and all for the sake of preserving our nation as the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.”

Memorial Day weekend symbolizes much about the American way of life that these fallen warriors have fought and died for. For most Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer vacation, and is a part of a long weekend of relaxation with family and friends. Fireworks, hot dogs, shorts, sandals, and sunshine are often part of this tradition—it is a joy to celebrate the coming of summer! For millions of these Americans, Memorial Day is also a solemn, heartfelt day to honor the fallen. Our way of life is a blessing that we Americans have because of the sacrifices of millions of our service people gave on our behalf.

So, while we are enjoying Memorial Day with BBQ cookouts, backyard games, and social gatherings, let’s take the time to pause and remember with deep gratitude those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. And let’s remember their families and other loved ones, whose grief over their profound loss will always be with them.

My husband, like millions of other soldiers, will be remembering those buddies who served alongside him but lost their lives in service. With humble appreciation, we will be remembering their families and other loved ones, whose loss will forever change their lives.

WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT VIDEO

*There are many ways that we can all honor the fallen and their families. WWP CEP, Mike Linnington, gives a very moving message to America. In this video, he also gives these suggestions:

  • Visit a Memorial of a courageous military service member who died defending our freedom.
  • Join WWP 5/29 at 3 pm (EST) for a moment of silence to honor the courageous military service members who fought and lost their lives defending our freedoms.

    View full video content here:

    Video – “The Power of Memorial Day”

    Special Memorial Day Message,

    WWP CEO Mike Linnington

    To All: I send you all warmest greetings on this important and very inspiring occasion: May we always cherish the memory of those who have given us all the ultimate gift of a life of promise and liberty. xoxo, Precious

     

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