The hardest thing…

I guess today is about as good of a day as any to write about something I have earned the right to speak from the heart about and not feel the need to explain my feelings to the ignorant ones.

This will be a fairly short one from me. I can’t possibly out-do those super emotional posts about fallen soldiers, widows, children etc etc. What I can say is that I feel an extraordinary debt of gratitude to those who have, are and will fight for our freedoms. Though I despise the state of affairs that our country is in right now, there are people for whatever the ultimate goal was, put their life on the line for others. Period. People may never agree with war or why we involve ourselves in such an act. Days like today, who cares why. We are to remember the fallen and the ones who have sacrificed their lives so that we can have a mere sense of security in our everyday life.

I think one of the absolute hardest things for me to handle is a military funeral or memorial. Someone gave all they had for those who are left behind. When taps plays the world stops. If you haven’t truly experienced it then you might not totally understand the effect it has. With each report of gun shot during a memorial it’s harder than I could possibly explain to maintain composure. It’s hard to see family and loved ones in such despair over their loss. Asking yourself ‘why’ just doesn’t seem good enough.

Even in death of someone outside of conflict, a military funeral has the same impact. When my grandfather died I stood alone behind everyone else. I watched as the honor guard saluted and a flag was handed to my grandmother. I stood alone with thoughts of all the things I experienced in the last several years of service. Thing is, I didn’t see things nearly as bad as some people did. It wouldn’t have mattered though. Just as my grandpa gave his life for the people of his country, everyone else that dared to put on that uniform deserves absolute respect from all of us. The fallen have done their time in hell and mankind isn’t done yet.

The first picture is from May 13, 2005. My first ‘deployed’ ceremony I attended. The second one is my last ‘deployed’ memorial for Capt Matt. This kind of picture isn’t unique. These are absolute real emotions…. I’m stopping here to avoid tainting this with opinions about those who know nothing of the sacrifices these men and women have made.

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