Monday, May 26, 2008

Remembering, Honoring and Thanking Them

Today is Memorial Day, a day to remember all our fallen service men and women, those who have served, and those who serve today. I think it's even more than just thinking of them -- I think this is a day to be grateful, and to express that gratitude.

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool, pacifist, peacenik. I abhor the violence of war. But I am quite conscious of the fact that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution that allow me to express these feelings are only possible through the sacrifice of those in the US Military. I am deeply grateful to those who have served our country, and to those in service right now.

If you'd asked me before I met Fearless Husband if I could see myself married to someone in the military, I would have fallen over laughing. But that was then, and this is now. This is for Fearless Husband.

Thank you for your service. For being an American Sailor, with all that entails.

Thank you for having the courage and the determination and the endurance to float around inside a big, hot, iron box in the middle of the ocean. For knowing that at any moment, you could be sent somewhere dangerous, or be in danger where you are, but doing it anyway. For putting up with the crap and the bureaucracy and the uniforms and the goobers who shouldn’t have been promoted, but were.

Thank you for following the rules, for standing tall, for barking out “yes, Chief!” and “yes, sir!” even those times when you must have felt like saying “up yours!” instead. For dealing with mountains of paperwork, even when you knew it would just mean more mountains of contradictory paperwork when someone changed the rules.

Thank you for being a leader, even when it just feels like thankless middle management. For taking care of your Junior Sailors regardless of their ingratitude and poor attitudes. For doing your best for them, even when you know that some of them will blow any opportunities you give them, and some of them will take all the credit for any advancements, but blame you for any setbacks. For caring enough to speak out and work against injustice and bigotry, even when it might harm your own career plans.

Thank you for giving your time, your thoughts, your energy, your courage, your dedication and your body in service to the United States of America.

You are appreciated.

And you are loved.


emily said...

I am a Navy Brat, growing up moved every couple of years, my dad was on the Nimitz for a while but then back to flying. We lived in Korea for 2 years. I am very proud of that fact and very proud of all of our military!

Thank you!

Namito said...

Just adding my thanks to yours.

Mary Witzl said...

Oh Carolie, this is lovely!

I feel much the same way you do: anti-war, but pro-serviceman (and woman). I greatly admire the people who do their job however much I wish they did not have to do it.

My husband does a job he despises, solely to feed his family. He takes nonsense from people far less intelligent and qualified than he is on a daily basis, and though he does not serve his country, I feel proud of him. And just reading this, I actually feel proud of YOUR husband, too!

Carolie said...

Emily -- thank you for visiting! How interesting that your dad was on the USS Nimitz...they just visited our port here in Japan a couple of months ago. I bet Korea was fascinating! I've been to visit, briefly, and hope to go back.

RtC -- great to see you! Thank you for stopping by, and for your kindness.

Mary -- Thank you, you make me blush! Kudos to your husband, and to you for recognizing the sacrifices he's making for your family. I think everyone who continues in a job they don't enjoy for the sake of his or her family is serving his or her country simply by contributing to society rather than being a drain on it, and by doing what he or she can for the happiness and health of some of the country's citizens (the family).

Michelle said...

That was so beautifully written!

thanks for your comment about the picture to submit. I'm trying to remember which photo of Kayla you were referring to though. (Sorry I couldn't find your email!) I have these 2 in my flickr acct and she's wearing a red/white dress, and she's running to Joe in one and running to me in the other, but neither are away from the camera. I just wondered if these were the pics you were thinking of?
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