It seems that evey year Memorial Day becomes more of shopping/BBQ holiday than an actual rememberence for all those people who have died fighting for our nation. While I have very strong opinions about our current war with Iraq, that is not what this post is about. I come from a family that benefitted from all the positives that a career with the military has to offer. My father was fortunate to have joined the Navy as the Vietnam War was ending and only served in Spain. After putting in five years, he then put in fifteen more with the Reserves. Dutifully serving every other weekend and four weeks every year. The places he served? Hawaii, Philippines, and Japan. Not too bad- at least from the pictures. I even worked as a camp counselor on an Air Force base. Our family was lucky. I mention this because I have seen the advantages a military career can bring.
Obviously, there is another side. One that has thousands of soldiers losing their lives. These are men and women who have families, that are grieving everyday for their loss. I currently have extended family overseas. I hope everyday that they make it home safely. I also grieve for all the innocent civilians caught up in the politics of their country, that lose their lives daily. I will never completley understand why "civilized" countries have to go to war. I will, though, remember the people who fought for what they believed, or, frankly, were doing their job to the best of their abilities. I will also remember the people who, through no fault of their own, died on the battlefield. Finally, I will hope and work for peace.