Tag Archives: #NeverForget

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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Evacuation Training: A Look Into American School Evacuation Plans (or lack thereof)

“Even with all of the school shootings reported, there are still so many left unreported. So many names that we’ll probably never know, so many people we’ll never get a chance to meet, so many lives cut short, so many destinies that will never be fulfilled and so many stories with chapters left unwritten.”

  • Anonymous

On Friday, October 9, 2015, I had the opportunity to attend a training for our school district’s Evacuation Plan and Procedures. It was very eye-opening and very sad, if I can be honest with you. Eye-opening because until that day I had not really thought much about this type of thing. I guess you could say that I, like many others, have been quite immune to living in a “safe” town, where not much really happens. So, when the thought of school shootings was presented to me, it definitely opened my eyes, and mind, to what “could be” someday. No one and no school is immune to a tragedy like a school shooting. A bullet has no name on it, as they say. And still I wonder how many people truly think about this when they send their children off to school (or anywhere for that matter).

Some of the most well-known school shootings, we’ve all heard of, began this revolution of evacuation planning in our nation’s schools however, up until recently many of our school administrators, etc. have not truly done their research to ensure that our children remained safe while in their “care”. I learned that majority of our schools, in America, have this “sitting duck” mentality and approach to school evacuations. In my district however, they are changing protocol and educating the teachers, staff, students and families that if God forbid a school shooting were to occur in our district, that there needs to be multiple options for escaping with our lives. Now, instead of being sitting ducks and hiding under tables or whatnot, our children and educators are being given the choice to run with their students or have the students escape if it is safe, they are implementing an announcement protocol and have even gone so far as to implement rally points and ways that students & teachers, who cannot escape, can still possibly survive this type of tragedy.

Even with all of the planning, it is still up to us, as parents and adults, to ensure that we educate ourselves and our children on the awful and scary things of this world. We trust educators enough to send our children to school to be taught by them and “watched” by them while we work or go to school or whatever, but we need to understand that they are flawed human beings, just like we are, and they don’t have all the answers and can and will make mistakes also, even when we need them to not make those mistakes. I think it’s time for us to take a stand and reach out to our Superintendents and Politicians and join PTAs and do whatever else we must do in order to ensure that ALL of our school districts are preparing for the day that we hope – and pray – never becomes a reality.

I urge you to think about this, to speak with your families – especially your children- about this, and to truly equip yourselves with your own district’s protocol and plans for this particular thing. You may find that everything is A-okay or you may find that things need to be reevaluated and new procedures need to be put in place. Visit your local school, Regional Office of Education or contact your Representatives and let’s start a movement to make our schools safer and our educators and students better prepared for the “what if’s” of this day and age.

September 11th – An Anniversary to Remember

Usually on anniversaries you would hear people say the word “Happy” in front of that word but this particular anniversary does not exude happiness, especially for those who have to live with the loss of a loved one. Husbands lost wives; wives lost husbands; sons and daughters lost their mother and fathers. There is nothing ‘happy’ about that.

Now, 13 years later, we are still honoring all those whose lives were taken in a tragic terrorist attack on our country. There are schools that have opted to have no school today and some that will only be in session for half the day (like my children’s school). There are employees that have chosen to take this day off and even some companies that have continued to implement the “moment of silence”.

Although I did not personally lose anyone on this day, I believe that the world came together (and continues to come together) in a way that we never have before. We all felt some sense of loss in the many people that did actually lose someone that they knew and loved. When I look at all of this, and think about the many lives that were affected by these attacks, I cannot help but feel a sense of camaraderie. It’s a sense of ‘standing in the gap’ for our brothers and sisters and I love this display of unity and hope.

Not only do we honor those that passed on to the other life, on this day, but we also honor the many brave men and women that have died fighting to defend our freedoms, that we hold so dearly. There are no words that can express the deep gratitude that many of us feel when we think about our men and women in uniform (soldiers, police officers, firefighters, etc.). There is also no way to repay the sacrifice so many military families and civilian families have had to make so that we may live and raise our children in a free society. So, although, this day does not bring with it great memories, it does bring a sense of unity that we have never had before.

My grandmother used to say “Give me my flowers before I’m gone.” I’m sure many of you know what she meant by that but this is what I took it to mean… To honor her while she is still living and let her know that I cared while she could still respond to it. With that in mind, I leave you with this…why not tell someone you love that you love them now? We never know what tomorrow may bring.

Please take a moment today to remember…We will never forget!