The Fallen


I'm married to the military.  My husband retired from the United States Air Force almost two years ago.

He was never active duty during our marriage -- by the time we wed, his military service centered around the Reserves and one weekd per month duty.  But when he was 20/21 - just a baby on so many levels - he spent nine months in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm.  It's not something he likes to talk about -- in fact, other than to say he was there, he doesn't talk about it at all.  But.  He came home.  He went on spend the early part of his 30's in Germany on millitary assignment.  He helped make three children.  He bought a home.  And, in a few hours, he'll load all of us up in our SUV and we'll go spend the day by swimming or playing at a park or something of that nature.

He came home.  Today is not about him.

My grandfather served in Korea.  Our family albums are full of pictures of a handsome young man in uniform.

He fought in Korea and sent home letters to his Mama and to his wife, my grandmother.  He came home.  He had three daughters and six grandchildren and his legacy continues to grow -- his eleventh great grandchild will be born later this year.  He went to church on Sundays and he farmed and every Tuesday he went to the Sale Barn. 

He came home.  Today is not about him.

It really gets to me how many people make today about something it's not.  It's not about BBQ and it's not about sales and it's not about our veterans.  Believe me -- I have every respect in the world for ANYONE who puts on a uniform and chooses to fight for our country.  But.  Today is not their day.

Today, while so many of us are enjoying a Bud Light and barbequed ribs by the pool, there's a young widow whose husband never came home from Afghanistan.  There's a middle aged man who never really knew his own father, a man who never made it back from Vietnam.  There are little girls who don't have a mother to confide in and talk to because she was killed by a road side bomb in Baghdad.  Somewhere, I'm sure, there's an elderly woman who seethes with envy at pictures of happy homecomings from World War II.  Her happy homecoming never happened.

Today is about them.  About honoring the memory of those fallen soldiers.  About being appreciative of their service.  They paid the ultimate price so that you and I can raise our children in a country where they are free to worship the way they want to worship, say what they want to say.  They laid down their lives for this country.

We'll celebrate our Veterans in November.  Today we honor those men and women who gave all, the ones who will never come home, the ones who made the ultimate sacrafice.

Back when Billy Ray still had a mullet and was known more for Achy Breaky Heart than being Miley's dad, he really said it best:

For all his friends who gave us all
Who stood the ground and took the fall
To help their fellow man
Love your country and live with pride
And don't forget those who died America can't you see
All gave some and some gave all
And some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall
Some gave all

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