Sunday, May 27, 2007

Some Thoughts for Memorial Day...

For those of us in America, I just wanted to wish you a very happy Memorial Day weekend... as we remember ALL of our fallen troops, living or otherwise.

Speaking for myself, (and I think many would agree), I wish there were no such thing as war. However, it is a fact of our human existence, I'm afraid.

Some have been killed in action in various wars. Others are survivors after the wars, but have spent less than ideal lives afterward. That is what I mean by "fallen" troups.

My father spent 19 terrifying months in on the front lines in Korea during the Korean War, and thank God he survived... or I wouldn't be here. He doesn't talk about his experiences much, but according to my aunts (his sisters), he came back a changed man, but not for the better.

He now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. However, like many other former military folks who had experiences like him, he would never admit that he suffers from such a thing. But we, his family can see it, and have had to live with it. My mother, God bless her, has had to live with his condition for over 50 years. It's not easy....

I was in the USAF myself for one tour of duty, most of which was spent in Iceland, and I have a brother who spent some time in Germany as an Army soldier; but we only had to fight "The Cold War", so we were never in any real danger. It was a time of relative peace for the United States.

I also wanted to remember all of our current military members, who are right now putting their lives on the line, (and sometimes losing them), along with their families, who are sacrificing the lives they once knew, to take on the life of a military family.

My wife and I have a 19 year old God-Son who is now a U.S. Marine, who is scheduled to go to Iraq in July of this year. We are concerned for him, as we know that he most likely won't return to us the same person as we know him, or maybe not at all. All we can do is hope and pray for the best.

So you see, I appreciate all of those who have given up their lives, both physically and also sometimes mentally, so that I didn't ever have to fight a real war. No military pay nor pension can ever compensate these fine folks and their families for what they have given, or are giving up.

Whatever are our own individual political and social beliefs, these people are only doing what we as a country are asking them to do, and they need our constant support.

If you see any member of the military in any setting, whether they be active duty, retired, or otherwise... but especially when you see them at the airport, just give them a smile and a nod, a handshake, or a salute, or just say "Hi, and thanks for what you do, and God bless you!"... they'll appreciate it more than anything. These folks are more than likely being deployed to the danger zone, and none of them know if they'll make it back in one piece.... Some of them won't. You might just be the encouragement they needed to make it another day.

As a final thought, you can do a Google search for "military support sites" and you will find many ways to lend your support via the internet.

All that having been said, please have a great and safe holiday!

God Bless,

Jeff Bayer