To the ones in uniform, to the ones who love them. There is no thanks big enough to express my gratitude. The sacrifices, the missed holidays and milestones. The physical, emotional and yes financial sacrifice made by those military families is remarkable. Usually handled with grace and honor. Fighting even for the right of someone they disagree with to have a voice.
Now a roll call ..
My High School Best friend Dan K. Marines. Desert Storm
2 of my brothers were in the military- Army and Airforce.
2 of my nephews in the Military 1 in basic and 1 on his deployement to the desert.
My cousins husband on his fourth deployment to the desert.
My husband is retired from the USAF
My father is a Veteran and retired USAF
4 Uncles out of 5. US Military service and all veterans.
My Grandfather US Mounted Calvary ( one of the last)
My Great Grandfather WWI, died, and in turn my Grandmother was an orphan and only found out 4 months before she died, why and where he was buried, she also received an honorary reception for him, along with his medals and a letter from the President. It let her leave this planet in peace.
And yes I have ancestors from both sides of the civil war.
I raised my children to know the pledge of Allegiance, to stand when the anthem is sang, and to hold doors for people wearing a uniform or a Veterans hat. In my family you are raised to understand what it means that someone is actually willing to leave their family and loved ones, to experience unspeakable horrors, to be realistically offering their life up for this country, it’s flag and the people here. Right or wrong, color or creed, no matter the religion or political stance, they defend us. Our right to freedom.
I see these families struggle as the parent left behind becomes an only parent and the children suffer with worry and stress. I see them budget and do without because for some reason this job, the job that actually keeps our country being our country is not paid enough. A couple years in a row when my daughter was younger and at home, we would baby sit free of charge for military moms, so they could go Christmas shopping without having to pay for daycare because their spouses were overseas.
Living by a military base, we always invite unknown young military people far from home often for the first time, to our home for the holidays to be with our family. It’s the least we could do, they are willing to die for us, so yes please eat some of my turkey? Hardly a fair trade.
If this post sounds preachy, well it is. This subject is ingrained within my blood, and into the blood of my children. I think far too many take it for granted. How many generations of families were ripped apart, or suffered for someones right to protest, to start a business, or to break the laws of this country and not spend eternity in a jail cell with no civil rights or due process. So when I see a soldier I say thank you. Today for Memorial weekend. I want it to reach beyond the scope of people I may run into face to face. I want every child, mother, spouse, brother, sister, and aunt to know,
It is the military and their families, that make this country what it is, not the Politicians. I thank you.
I have 3 Flag Cases in my house. and if your not familiar with these, it’s what you get when your loved one who served and fought has died, they cover the casket in a flag, OUR flag. Then with precision and snaps, they lovingly fold the flag into a triangle and give it to the family. No one wants this honor. We always want the loved one.
Now for the meaning behind each fold of the flag they hand to the loved ones.
The first fold is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to try and attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but, it is still our country, right or wrong.”
The sixth fold is where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisble, with liberty and justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag from all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mothers Day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for, he too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.
The twelfth fold in the eyes of a Christian citizen represents an emblem of eternity, and glorifies in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation’s moto, “In God We Trust.” After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the solders who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today. There are some traditions and ways of doing things which have a deep meaning.