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Originally Posted: 05/25/2020

As a never soldier, sailor, marine, etc., I can’t speak to Memorial Day as someone who knows from the trenches what it’s like to be broken down and crafted into something that can survive experiencing and doing things I can only imagine. And for those who sacrificed all, nothing I have to say carries the weight required to voice it. “Thank You For Your Service” doesn’t cut it, especially with the lazy way it’s often offered. I still remember my father, who said little to me of his time in the Pacific in WWII, being startled awake 40 years later, after twenty minutes of bombs and guns in a movie, by the sound of a specific weapon. When I asked why now…he said when you heard that specific chattering…you knew they were close.

Whatever politicians divine, the boots earn at costs I only understand through the veterans who have given me the honor of trusting me, a civilian, a committed and skilled civilian, but still a civilian, with reorganizing or retraining themselves to better fit back into a civilian life. I don’t know firsthand, but then again it seems everyone experiences everything at least a little differently. I’m interested in each individual’s very personal experience and reaction. Even though we have been taking specialized trainings through the Uniformed Services University to better understand the world of those who have served, it will never draw a complete picture of any single service member’s world.

It doesn’t cut it. But it’s what I got. Thank you for your service, all that it entailed, and still does for many today. We (OK, at least I know I do) certainly take a great deal of what has been sacrificed on multiple levels for granted on a regular basis. To those whose blood, sweat, tears, and anguish have granted me that, Thank You. If you are still paying significant prices after you get home, I know there are folks like me who would consider it an honor to settle at least a little of that debt. Don’t settle. Find someone who works to understand you instead of assuming they already know everything. Someone who employs the best we have to make those changes and those changes take place. It’s our priviledge.

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