It’s easy to tell others they ought to honor those who’ve sacrificed, but have you, one who’s made the sacrifice, honored yourself? It’s difficult for many of us who’ve sacrificed so much, to be ok with giving ourselves a pat on the back. I know I know, we are supposed to remain non-celebratory about our sacrifice, our service, but we deserve it, you deserve it. But look around, there are so many service members, they go without so much as a hand shake, a thank you, they go without recognition for the sacrifices they have made. They have sacrificed their lives, their friends, brothers and sisters.
Those that have made the ultimate sacrifice and have died have their memorial; they have family members that cry for them, they have friends and comrades who pray for their souls. But those who’ve come back without their partners, friends, fellow veterans, who prays for them, who cries for them? Much of the time these vets come back changed, they feel bitter, they feel guilty, and they come back alone. Often they are difficult to understand or deal with, so those around them step back and give them room, they are treated like they have some sort of contagion. Let me be clear here when I say that this is not the case for everyone, however, if it the case for one veteran, it is the case for too many.
So as a veteran, I say be ok with slapping yourself on the back, and to honor those whom did not make it back, or those that are stuck in turmoil, celebrate the sacrifices you have made. Recognize those sacrifices; look them in the eye as you have so many of your adversaries and say thank you. Be proud of those sacrifices you have made, can you do that in the mirror? Can you look yourself in the eye and say thanks?
Don’t allow the Meagan Lyn Mays’ of this world to disparage all that you have given to this world, even to her. And I for one will stand beside you, proud to be your brother in arms, to be a fellow veteran, I for one will be grateful. I cannot and will not lose sight of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice, I think of them daily, I will remember them; I will honor them by honoring myself and by celebrating their service and sacrifice. I will do this by telling others of their service, of their heroisms, of their decision to stand the line, to protect our freedoms.
And to those like Meagan Lyn May, to those that oppose our way of life and our means of servitude, to those I say you are welcome. Come forth and speak your mind, for I have stood toe to toe with my enemy to preserve the right for you to do so. Whether I follow your line of thinking, your beliefs or not, and I will not persecute you for them but celebrate your freedom to speak them. This is how we honor those that have sacrificed. I would also ask that in return, whether or not you agree with my line of thinking, or beliefs, come stand next to me, share your beliefs with me, let’s come together and commemorate our freedom of speech, lets honor those responsible, lets honor our children in your name, and in the names of our brothers and sisters let’s pay tribute to those individuals. Then ask yourself, what sacrifices have you made, what sacrifices will you make?