Today is Memorial Day 2015. We have seen many Memorial Days in our lifetime. Perhaps we did not fully appreciate them and the full meaning until September 11, 2011. We certainly do now and with each new day we should be celebrating our military. Not just on the special day or weekend, we need to say Thank You every time we see a service person.
Maybe we have forgotten that those we care for have given so much for us to be able to be here today. Whether service personnel or supporting family members all have experienced this time for us. Whether we believe in the cause or not, the truth is we have seen what can happen when the situation is ignored. And it is with that wisdom; this column is dedicated to the families and extended families.
The spouse is just as much a part of this military life as the service person. The children are just as impacted by the strokes coming from Washington D.C. as the person is boarding a plane or ship to leave. Although the spouse and family has historically remained behind to keep the home fires going and life as normal as possible; spouse’s have worked and maintained a home, supported the family both at home and extended. How frequently we forget just how much they do. Not just the day to day stuff, but all the ‘stuff’, we need to take the opportunity to say ‘Thank You” to the spouses and also to the children who have spent time not just doing homework, participating in activities these children have supported their parents just as much as our service person.
Have we ever taken the time to ask a child how they are or how they feel or what they are concerned about? Children need to have the opportunity to grow and learn about life without worrying about Mom or Dad. And yet as we have learned these children are frequently left to their own devices to manage this time of turmoil. We need to say “thank you” so they are proud and experiencing the knowledge that their parent is not leaving them but serving them, the community and our nation. Even when families live on a base and all the children have the same experiences, there is still a large need to help them see the larger picture.
Certainly we know caregiver’s and we see caregiver’s each day. Perhaps we should redefine the role of caregiver to child, teacher, principal, spouse, pet, and so many more. Today as we our elderly celebrating a time well lived we need to express our appreciation for their sacrifice and that of the entire community. Take time to acknowledge a job well done and an honor much deserved.