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Veterans Day: Remembering & Honoring the Service

Adults 50+

Middle-aged Adults

Young Adults

By Elaine Guerrazzi | November 11, 2019

Today is Veterans Day.  Today is the day to celebrate veterans.  Servicemen and women display patriotism, sacrifice, and love of country during their service in the armed forces.  Our recognition, respect and gratitude could not be shared with a more deserving group.  It is important to keep the brave men and women in mind today and every day as they preserve our freedom and way of life. I want to recognize the sacrifice parents of service members make each day.  These moms and dads are also selfless and courageous.  I want to honor families of those who served and are on active duty.

The stories military parents share can broaden the scope of how we view the military experience.  Recognition and support to these parents is as important as the need to recognize and support the servicemen and women.

A friend and regular blog reader shared poems he wrote when his son joined the military and then left for Iraq.  With his permission, I share his thoughts with you.

What do you want to be my son, when you grow old like me?
At eight years old he stood straight and tall, I want to be a Marine.

I smiled and said that’s great my boy, knowing that notion would pass.
A doctor a lawyer a baseball player, I know that marine thing won’t last.

In junior high he played lots of sports, and he was pretty good at most.
But still a Marine is what he said he would be and be at any cost.

Son, I said, A dad doesn’t raise his son so he can go off to war.
He raises his kids so they will be better than him, A dad wants them to be something more.

Then came his eighteenth birthday and he brought us someone to meet.
His name is Sgt. J_____ but call him Gunny, don’t talk Dad just have a seat.

I’ve signed the papers I’ve joined the Marines, I’m an adult now I don’t need your permission.
It’s what I’ve wanted since I was eight, what I would like is to have your blessing.

What can you say when your son tells you that, I’m proud but also afraid.
I wanted things to be easy for him, I wished for his success to be made.

But he chose the hard path, to be one of the best, and there is sure nothing wrong with that.
A Marine works hard to get what he wants; you can count on him when it’s his turn to bat.

Now he’s gone for a while in a faraway land, doing what’s right so we can be free.
Giving his all for his family and country, He’s one of the few, the proud, a Marine.

So, we will patiently wait for his safe return and hope the road along the way will be kind.
Our Marine is still young with so much to do he has so many dreams left to find.

Do you remember?
It was cool for a July morning, No, it was cold. 
Your mom in a Marine sweatshirt, sister also. 
Grandma in a coat and blanket. Cold. 
Your Dad, in shorts and shirt, trying to show he was tough, like you. Remember? 
Duffel bags thrown in a truck. 
This is too real……tears.
Tough Marines. 
Handsome Marines. 
Young Marines. 
All of you. 
Draw your weapons, into formation. 
Tell us goodbye. 
Sun breaks through and suddenly its hot. 
Onto the bus…airport…off the bus…on the jet…
Stop, it’s too fast. 
It’s too real. 
Your leaving. 
Your plane catches thrown kisses. 
And now, it’s OK because you can’t see, 
Dad’s tears. 
The roar of the engines drowns out the cheers. 
We watch the big jet until it’s only a dot in the sky. 
Then…he is gone. 
Five hundred people stare in silence. 
No one wants to leave. 
It suddenly gets very cold again. 

There are resources provided by all military branches to support parents and family members.  I hope to inspire and encourage you to be a lifeline and a resource to those in your area by supporting home front families.

The Code of Support Foundation provides a list of 99 Ways to Get Involved.  The Foundation lists many activities to help service members, however with a little creativity most of these activities could be something you could do for/with a home front family.  

A couple examples are:

One activity listed is to foster a pet while a soldier is in training or deployed.  A way to apply this activity to support family members could be to join someone on a walk with a pet.

Teachers often invite veterans to speak or present to students.  Broaden the scope of how we view the military experience but inviting a family member to speak to students about the home front experience.

Thank you, Nick and all servicemen and women for your service.

Thank you, Jim, Nancy, and all parents for your service.

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