I had such an amazing few days away in the woods with a fabulous group of friends. As it goes, we spent the weekend full of fun and sun, and more fun, hardly stopping to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day.
Today, as we drove home, I saw this sign (above) and was reminded of all those who sacrifice day-in-and-out for our freedom.
It sunk in a little deeper this year, as just this Thursday I had the pleasure of touring my brother’s ship, the USS Bataan, docked in NYC for Fleet Week. He’s been in the navy since he was 18. I’m so used to it, in fact, I forget the very real sacrifice he puts in year after year: time away from his family, cramped quarters, war/defense-life, etc.
My girls and I took my brother and his friend, another sailor, to dinner. I was so proud to parade him around in his sailor whites! I just loved the attention he got, the gratitude, the salutes.
It was during dinner that his friend received a text about a possible suicide on the ship, which apparently happens often. There were two other recent incidents he could immediately recount.
My dear friend, Kebra, shared the story of her Tough Mudder race she’d completed last fall, 12 miles of utter agony as she describes it. As horrible as the race had been, she realized on the bus ride home, Kebra told us, that she would eat pizza, see her family, get warm, and sleep in her own bed that night–all luxuries that our servicepeople would not be able to enjoy.
We talked about the raw real deal that night, stuff my bro and I often gloss over. From 9/11 to war, suicide, relationships, the burden of sea duty, life on the ship, it was eye opening. In some way, I’d always made his job cushier than it is. It was a lot to digest Friday, but I was happy to better understand his commitment/life’s work.
I’ve never been more proud and more grateful.
On this day, I’d also like to honor my cousin Gino Mills for his ultimate sacrifice and all those we’ve lost in the name of freedom.
We are so blessed to be born in the country. Even with all its faults, #merica!
Hope you enjoyed a sunshine filled weekend!!