Monday, May 29th is Memorial Day. To most people, it’s just a day off from work. To others, it’s the unofficial start of the summer. To others still, it’s a time to have a barbecue or cookout and gather with family and friends. Indeed, all those things are true.
Before I was a loud mouth writer with a lot to say, that Oshay Duke Jackson gave a voice,( I love you and thank for the opportunity brother)I was an Airman. Before I was a husband or a father, I was an Airman.
For a decade, I served and was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. I served with common men who had uncommon valor. I will forever be a member of an elite fraternity of quiet professionals, whose names will be lost to history because in our line of work, recognition means failure.
Freedom is not now, never has been, nor will it ever be free. It’s paid for by the blood, sweat, and tears of those who have the courage to answer when history calls upon them to be something greater than they’ve ever been. It is forged in the fires of adversity when the few must stand against the many with no assurance of victory, and only with the belief in the righteousness of their cause.
I’ve served with those, who unfortunately didn’t make it back to their loved ones. I’ve seen wives cry for their husbands and mother’s cry for their sons. A 21 gun salute and a folded flag is little solace to a child that just wants his father.
Sadly, this is all too common in my former line of work. The freedoms that we enjoy have been paid for by those that came before us.
My most ardent wish on this day, is that at some time during the inevitable partying, cookouts, barbecues, and the like, that everyone take some time to remember those that are no longer with us. Remember those that gave their lives and those that continue to put their lives on the line, so that you don’t have to.