My family has been involved in the military for at least three previous generations. My father flew Apache helicopters for the National Guard, my maternal grandfather flew reconnaissance planes in Korea and Vietnam, and at least one Great Grandfather fought in Europe during World War II. Unfortunately the chain seems to have run out with my generation, but respect for men and women in uniform is still a trait that I am happy has been passed on.
The willingness of military personal to work hard, suffer and die for their fellow citizens is something to admire. As a young boy, I remember anxiously watching Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. As soon as war was imminent I began to fear invasion. I remember imagining vivid scenarios where my father would be targeted for being a military man in an outlandish Iraqi invasion of Salt Lake City, Utah. As nonsensical as my childish fears turned out to be I remember feeling a mixture of fear and pride that my father had committed to protect our country.
On Memorial Day we remember those who have paid the ultimate price to secure our hard-won freedoms. In addition I hope we take a moment to remember the many men and women who are serving our country today. They have families and friends who feel a measure of pride and fear on their behalf that far outweighs what I felt as a young boy. It is essential to remember and support those families. There are fewer people directly tied by blood or friendship to military personnel than ever before in our history. If we do not take the effort to remember them we cannot safeguard the freedoms they fight for or make sure we only elect officials who will use their sacrifice in ways we can all be proud of. Happy Memorial Day.