Tag Archives: Military

Freedom Isn’t Free: It Always Comes With A Price

What is a veteran? According to Merriam-Webster, a veteran is anyone who has had long experience in a particular field. Maybe I should rephrase my question… what is a military veteran? A military veteran can be a man or a woman. He/she is someone whoV_Day-Feature-Banner-300x176 may be actively serving, discharged, reserves or retired. A military veteran is someone who has sacrificed much, including: time with family and friends, lost limbs, higher salaries that they could have been making in the private sector and have even, sometimes, sacrificed their very lives for the sake of freedom.

Maybe that is why some people’s first thought is not to tell the young service members “Happy Veterans Day” or celebrate them the way that they celebrate and honor the older generation of military members. Our first thought is typically that a veteran is someone older, right? Wrong.

I think we need to realize that our world has changed and our military continues to be a major part of that change. We have 18-year olds who leave as boys and girls and return to us as grown men and women. 19-year olds who have seen and done more in a year or 2 in the military than most of us have seen and done with our enVeterans-Daytire lives. 20-year olds who are sent to war, who deploy and come back home with all types of mental and physical wounds. These young men and women, just like the 75-year old WWII veteran, are too America’s heroes. They deserve the same honor, celebration, gratitude and appreciation that we display to the older generation of military men and women.

With that said, if you have not already done so, tell a service member ‘Thank You‘ today. And, if you are a present or former military member, let me take this time to thank you for your service and your sacrifice. I know, from experience, that it is not easy and you deserve so much more than we can ever repay. Also, to the men and women who have found their place in standing beside a soldier, sailor, marine, airman or coastie, please know that you are never forgotten. I, also from experience, understand the difficulties that you face as a spouse, child or other loved one of someone in the military. I truly honor you on this day for your service and sacrifice and for continuing to stand and support your service member through it all. We salute and honor you all on this, and every, day.

Past, present and future…

Happy Veterans Day!

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Happy Veterans Day

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I wanted to take this time to thank the men and women who have served, presently serve and will serve in the future. This day is often celebrated, in some way, by many different industries. Some people take the day off and some companies, and schools, close to honor this day. Others give away an item or service for free to our veterans and still others have parades or plan other events to show their appreciation to the men and women who have chosen to fight for our country and its freedoms.

There are simply no words to express how thankful I am to each and every one of you that have made the decision to serve. I’m sure the decision was not an easy one and it is surely life-changing. In some cases, the decision may very well have been one that some family members are still trying to cope with. At any rate, this message of thanks is intended for all of you. Yes, even you. To all of those that made the ultimate sacrifice and the families of those fallen and missing military members, you are forever in my prayers and will never be forgotten.

To the families of those who currently serve or have served, I take my hat off to you. No one knows the burden and loneliness that comes with being the spouse or child of a service member. Yet, no one can truly understand the pride that comes from being the family member of a soldier (airman, sailor, marine or coasties), either. It is a life that few choose to live out. It is definitely not for everyone but it is one that brings great honor to those who truly embrace it.

“Thank You” sure does not feel like it is good enough however, “Thank You” is all that I have to give. Be sure to thank a veteran (active duty, reserves, retired, discharged…doesn’t matter) and make a military husband, wife or child feel special today (and every day). Let them know that they are loved, appreciated and will never be forgotten.

Why I Stayed…

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With all of the talk about Domestic Violence lately, I figured now is as good a time as any to tell my “Why I Stayed” story. I used to live in a shelter for abused women and their children. It was there that I learned how domestic violence encompasses not only physical abuse, but mental and sexual abuse as well. Before we get into that, let me give you a little history and show you how it may correlate to someone staying in a relationship that is no good for them.

I grew up in a dysfunctional home, much like the rest of the world, but I did not realize how dysfunctional it was until I got older and after I’d had a couple of children of my own. My father was in the Navy for most of my childhood. My mother was a stay-at-home mom but ended up working full-time, outside of the home, a few years before she and my dad divorced. Growing up I saw my parents argue and fight with each other and I always thought that was normal.

Sidenote: I think that kids should see their parents argue but I also feel that they should see them resolve their issues and make-up… I mean, how else can we teach them problem solving skills and to work with people who are different than they are, if they always think that everything is easy and the 2 most important people in their lives never have any issues???

The arguing quickly turned into physical fighting and, even as a child, I knew that this was not right. I saw my dad grab and hit my mother in ways that a man should never place his hands on a woman. I remember wanting to protect my mother, and actually trying to physically protect her a time or two, only to be slapped or knocked unconscious myself. I also remember, as my siblings and I got older, my younger brother and my dad physically fighting like they didn’t know and love each other. It appalls me to think that my father, being the adult and thought to be “mature one” in the matter, thought this was okay.

Continue reading Why I Stayed…