Decoration Day

…or some may know it as Memorial Day. I have two reasons why I wanted to blog about this holiday. And one thing to keep in mind, I come from the Volunteer State. (Texas should continue to thank Tennessee for the heart it has.)

I had an uncle that served in the military. He gave his time to serve our great country. I am sure he didn’t always agree with who was president or the latest Supreme Court ruling, but he served nonetheless. His time serving even took his freedom, as he became a victim of alcohol. Some would argue that plenty of men served without falling into that vice. Well, some men decided to flee the country when it was their turn to serve and we still elect them president. (Just saying, no need to judge a man when we don’t even know the insides of his shoes.)

That same alcohol would eventually take his life, but not because he was too weak. You see, once my uncle realized that his life had been returned to him and he was wasting it away with each drink, he turned his life around and got himself sober. Before my family moved to Brazil in 1990, we took my uncle shopping for groceries and clothes and helped him move into a new apartment. Before we left that night to go home, my Uncle David called my brother and I to his room and tore open a bag of Dum-Dum suckers (he had a bit of a sweet-tooth) and handed us one each. Something so silly and meaningless at the time means so much to me today.

Just a few short months later, we received a call in Brazil that my uncle had been murdered by a former drinking buddy. My uncle went overseas to fight, but lost his life on familiar turf. To Uncle David, whose military picture will forever be engraved in my mind, I love you. I am sorry I didn’t get to know you better. And on this day, I salute you for being a true Vol!

Secondly, I want to send a shout-out to my brother. Memorial Day seems to focus on the fallen men and women who have served our county in military service. I hope that my sister-in-law never has to receive the folded American flag. My brother serves in the United States Navy.

For those that know Doug, know that he can make the most ridiculous shots in the middle of the lane when playing basketball. When we were younger, we were able to get the clippers from our mom and shave his head in the bathroom with the music blaring so that mom and dad wouldn’t hear the buzzing. Doug’s nose actually sweats when eating Mexican food and when eating a bowl of ice cream.

But let me tell you something…I am incredibly proud of my not-so-little brother. I would get kicked out of boot camp on the first day due to someone being in my face yelling. (How in the world do you not crack a smile?) I will not get into specifics about his responsibilities, but he is absolutely serving our country. Just having a brother in the service allows me a peek into the world of those who have loved ones overseas in the middle of war or some far away land. When in the airports, I most definitely thank the men and women for serving. I thank them for going in my place, so that I have a place.

So, on this Memorial Day, I thank God for my Uncle David, my brother Doug, his father-in-law, my wife’s cousins, and the countless people that I know directly or indirectly that are a member of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or National Reserves. Living or passed on…may you never be forgotten for your heart of a volunteer.

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One Response to “Decoration Day”

  1. NanaPops Says:

    Just want to say amen to the thanksgiving for family members and others who have served or are serving, inlcuding our friends and their families with NATO here.

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