Valiant Soldiers


Memorial Day is coming upon us. Justin Smith writes a thought-provoking memoriam to past wars and the American combat veteran that fought in them.

 

JRH 5/24/19

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Valiant Soldiers 

The Long, Hard Road Back

 

By Justin O. Smith
Sent 5/24/2019 1:44 PM

 

“There must be a beginning of every matter, but the continuing unto the end yields the true glory. If we can thoroughly believe that this which we do is in defense of our religion and country, no doubt our merciful God for his Christ our Savior’s sake is able and will give us victory, though our sins be red.” ~ Sir Francis Drake writing to Sir Francis Walsingham, on May 17th 1587

 

This day, Memorial Day, set aside to honor all of our Veterans who have served and sacrificed in so many untold ways, Americans acknowledge the mighty endeavor our nation has set before Her Armed Services members. Most of us know just how long and hard the road back home has been, after America has asked them to deploy to combat, time and again, tormented by the roar of combat all about them but never shirking away from what they knew to be their duty. They are more than simple soldiers willing to die for You, and America owes them a great debt for their sacrifices, to those who died in combat, to all whose sacrifices were so selfless and honorable.

 

America lost roughly 117 thousand soldiers fighting WWI, 417,000 in WWII and thousands of more afterwards, in Korea and Vietnam. Approximately fourteen thousand and seventy-one U.S. military and contractors have died in the Middle East and the “War on Terror” since 2001.

 

Since 2001, more than 3,002,635 men and women of the United States Armed Forces have deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism, with more than 1,400,000 of them deploying multiple times, and soon, U.S. soldiers will begin being deployed to Afghanistan to fight in a war that began before they were born.

 

As a society, America has traveled a long way from the early days of the draft and Vietnam, when 3000 people in Fayetteville, North Carolina were led by fifty soldiers from Ft Bragg — part of G.I.s United Against the War in Vietnam — in a protest at Rowan Park,  and to many U.S. military personnel patriotism isn’t as complex a matter as so many anti-war advocates want to make it, and neither is the reason we fight. To most, in today’s all volunteer military, the mission and the need is clear as a bell; what isn’t so clear too many times is the road back into civilian life after their military career has ended, either voluntarily or due to service related medical disabilities.

 

Combat changes everyone. The experience of killing another human sometimes results in significant psychological changes, whether it is the justifiable killing on an insurgent or enemy combatant, or the accidental killing of an innocent bystander who happens to get caught in the crossfire — too often dehumanized as “collateral damage”. Whether it is another member of one’s unit who is blown to pieces by an IED or your closest friend who dies in your arms after a sniper round penetrates just at the edge of his protective body armor, watching people die changes you. Even if one never experiences this bloodier side of war, constantly being on the alert and acutely aware of the ever present dangers of war will change one. Everyone who is deployed to a war zone is changed by his or her experiences, and it would be abnormal if they weren’t.

 

After hearing by radio that his friend was shot and down during an ambush, one corpsman rushed to render aid. The event is described by former platoon leader and 1st Lieutenant Dan Gannon: “Instead of staying on the trail, he just … took off and cut across. He made about fifteen steps and tripped a mine and was killed immediately. So here I’ve lost both corpsmen and we had injuries … we had to improvise. That was a very bad day for me, because both corpsmen I was quite close to.”

 

Gregory Gomez, part of an elite four man team in a Marine Corps Force Recon unit and a pure blooded Apache from West Texas, recalls the numerous times they were dropped by helicopter into North Vietnamese territory, without a medic and little support. They would eat Vietnamese food, not the C-rations, so they’d smell like the enemy who often would pass just yards from their position in the dense jungle. He observed: “Everyone who has lived through something like that has lived through trauma, and you can never go back. You are 17 or 18 or 19 and you just hit that wall. You become very old men.”

 

Old soldiers hate war but love combat.

 

When an old accomplished, battle-hardened soldier first arrives home, all he can think about is being back In Country and in the thick of things. Home-life initially leaves them feeling unfulfilled, empty and without purpose, despite having their family and friends near them, and having a job. An Old War Dog has a long seemingly unshakable feeling that there is “unfinished business that needs to be taken care of” and he wants to return to fray and to “complete the mission”.

 

Although demanding and dangerous, the intensity of combat is rewarding in and of itself to many soldiers, and constantly living on the edge for many soldiers was the highlight of their life: Their time In Country was an experience they wouldn’t change for the world and it’s something they would happily and freely do once more — as they recall a powerful brotherhood, the bonds and friendships forged in combat that last a lifetime.

 

Combat Veterans are happy to have escaped injury and still be above ground, yet many feel guilty that some of their unit weren’t so lucky. Shame and guilt make them second guess decisions they made, or didn’t make, that resulted in the injury or death of a team member or civilian, and these Veterans feel guilty over enjoying life, with their feelings wavering between happiness and guilt; and sometimes depression sets upon them and interferes with their ability to function or enjoy life.

 

I would never minimize the pain and suffering of any Veteran, however, according to a 2015 analysis in the Annals of Epidemiology, Veteran suicides only topped civilian numbers in 2008, and they are most often seen in soldiers who had mental issues prior to their service and in Veterans over fifty years old. The analysis noted that the more time that passes between the trauma the less likely one is to commit suicide, while identifying suicide attempts before deployment as the most accurate predictor of post-deployment suicide.

 

The Annals suggested better screening for pre-existing mental disorders would reduce Veteran suicide, while also noting U.S. Airborne and other highly trained units in WWII had some of the lowest rates of psychiatric casualties of the entire military, relative to their number of wounded. And, in a 1968 study from the Archive of General Psychiatry, Special Forces soldiers in Vietnam had levels of the stress hormone cortisol go down before any anticipated attack, while less experienced soldiers had their cortisol levels increase.

 

The most severe and debilitating injury afflicting our returning soldiers is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) generally received by being too close to an Improvised Explosive Device when it was detonated.  The lingering effects of such an injury, in tandem with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and haunting memories, places a soldier in an unimaginable struggle and makes any attempt to start his post-war civilian life a daunting challenge; and, he most usually has a hard time holding down a job and has a drinking habit that is accompanied by hallucinations of his best friend who died in the war. And he drinks like it is his job to try and block out his troubling memories.

 

Although it is impossible to gauge accurately and equally hard to imagine someone who served America in the military living on the streets, many experts and studies estimate approximately 50,000 Veterans are still homeless on any given night in the United States of America. In conjunction, a recent Department of Defense report states that 383,947 Veterans have been diagnosed with war related Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), since the year 2000. And in 2015, a Veteran Administration Inspector General’s report revealed that 307,000 Veterans died awaiting approval on healthcare claims.

 

Veterans tend to dig their own graves, and going too far before they realize their mistake and the result of their own self-destructive behavior. So, while many dig their own hole without even knowing it, many of us in the military community and the community in general can implement the old OODA Loop concept of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act in order to offer assistance to those Brothers and Sisters in need.

 

Get rid of the parades and replace them with a community ceremony on Veterans Day attended by citizens, who are willing to give meaning to the words “I support the troops”, showing up at town halls across the land to hear our Veterans speak about the war, their own particular wars. Some Veterans will be proud of their service, some will be angry, and some will be unable to speak as tears flow down their face. A community ceremony like that would finally return the experience of war to our entire nation, rather than just leaving it to the people who fought.

 

All of Our U.S. Veterans past and present have been great friends to someone, recognized as great soldiers, American through and through. Valiant soldiers, their service, bravery and strength of character represents the principles and virtues that built America, and I salute them, each and every single one for defending and protecting our country, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave — their service to which I will never forget and much time spent in harm’s way — together Brother, together Sister.

 

They lived, they fought. And for their country’s sake they died, from Argonne to Berlin and from Kabul to Ramadi and Fallujah.

 

Looking out across our fathers’ graves, and taking liberties with Kipling’s words, the astonished years reveal the remnant of our country’s patriots whose blood, guts and steel defended America, and we think on those fine Americans we have lost with tears in our eyes that none will scorn, and one more service we dare to ask. Pray for us, heroes, pray, that when Fate lays on Us our task, We do not shame the day.

 

By Justin O. Smith

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Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Justin O. Smith

 

Sacrifices and Exemplary Lives


No-1 Left Behind soldiers

Justin Smith has written a heartfelt essay on what Memorial Day is for Americans. Justin’s theme is – do not be provoked by our American government to go to war due to the painful costs to each individual soldier involved in bloody military action. A very thought provoking piece every American should read.

 

JRH 5/25/16

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Sacrifices and Exemplary Lives

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent: 5/23/2016 12:13 PM

 

Many millions http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article24746680.html of men and women have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, from WWII to the present. They all may have had numerous assorted reasons for joining, from benefits and education opportunities to travel and real world experiences, but for the most part, they understood that U.S. military might was necessary for peace. They have stood ready and leaped to action against our enemies, making them pay a terrible price for any aggression or attack, and they have made many personal sacrifices in the process, in order to keep this Great America of Ours safe and free forever.

 

And today our Service Members follow in the tradition of such American patriots, such as Tennessee Representative Felix Grundy who addressed the U.S. Congress in 1811 with the following: [The question is] “whether we will resist by force the attempt, made by the [British] government, to subject our maritime rights to the arbitrary and capricious rule of her will … http://college.cengage.com/history/ayers_primary_sources/debate_war_congress.htm Sir, I prefer war to submission.”

 

There is not anyway to properly acknowledge the service of so many wonderful and deserving people in a list. Many of us have family members or someone in our community who left the military service and carried on through exemplary lives, pursuing their dreams.

 

Aside from my father, a much decorated U.S. Army sergeant who served during WWII, Korea and Vietnam, some of those Veterans who most influenced my life include:

 

*A.C. “Ace” Wintermeyer, a WWII U.S. Army Veteran and Chief of LaVergne Fire Department, who gave me my first real job.

*Sam Ridley, a much decorated WWII Air Force Veteran, who did many fine things for Smyrna, TN as its mayor and always had a moment for some great conversation with Smyrna’s youth.

*Professor (Lt. Colonel) Ralph Fullerton, my mentor at MTSU and a former aide to the Ambassador to Nicaragua, who was one of the most adventurous, interesting and intelligent men I ever had the pleasure of knowing.

*SSGT Barry Sadler, a Vietnam Veteran and author of the ‘Ballad of the Green Beret’ and ‘Nashville With a Bullet’, who often regaled me with fascinating stories, good advice and a bit of philosophy over many a cup of coffee at Shoney’s Big Boy in Hendersonville, TN.

*SSGT Macon Blue, my Drill Instructor at Ft Benning and a Vietnam Veteran, who had a steel plate in his head and only one lung, due to a “friendly-fire” incident, who often repeated, “Let your conscience be your guide young soldier.”

*Pete Doughtie, a U.S. Army Veteran, who owns and operates The Rutherford Reader, along with his wife Kaye, and who has been gracious enough to give me the opportunity to keep the community informed through one of the few conservative and ethical newspapers left in America.

 

Most able bodied men and a small number of women, nearly 10% of the entire U.S. population, served in the military during WWII and were on active duty by war’s end. As a result, most Baby Boomers have at least one family member who served in uniform, and approximately one-third of all Americans born since 1980 are related to someone with military experience.

 

Today, our Armed Forces are comprised of an undrafted, all-volunteer cadre, most of whom enlisted after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. and has included nearly 300,000 women, cut from the same cloth as Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers, a Tennessee State Legislator, Lt Col Joni Earnst, Iowa’s Republican Representative and SRA Shevontae “Smitty” Smith who served with http://www.afcent.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/4779/Article/218042/walking-with-the-reapers.aspx Reaper 5 in Bagram, Afghanistan.

 

Soldiers who fully comprehend and believe in the mission usually come home and are able to adjust well. These are the hard men in battle, living, breathing and eating combat operations around the clock. But it’s their love of family, country, and often God, and love returned that saves them from the ravages of mental anguish and Post Traumatic Stress, “battle-fatigue”, upon their return home.

 

The vast majority of recent Veterans, roughly 90% according to numerous studies, are not bitter or angry. They say they still would have enlisted, even in consideration of all they now know about war and military service.

 

U.S. Army Sgt. David Moeller, http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/03/29/a-legacy-of-pride-and-pain/ who served two years in Iraq, told Kaiser Family Foundation in 2014: [We] “had a positive impact there. I don’t regret it. It’s something I’d do over and over again.”

 

However, even the strongest among us might succumb to the pressure cooker of multiple tours of duty and an untold number of bloody and horrific combat actions. One in two soldiers have reported to government inquiries, that they know a member of the military who has attempted or committed suicide, and over one million soldiers say they cannot control their anger (The Atlantic).

 

No one person can presume to actually understand the mental and physical toll military service takes on a soldier, unless they have been where it’s real, where an IED can end your life in a second or where an old Muslim with a mild smile on his face and gentle empathetic eyes says “Allah Akbar” and detonates himself and all within a hundred-foot circumference. Unless one has hunted for the enemy along goat paths and in little mud and wood constructed towns, where an RPG can scorch a man’s flesh from his body in a second, raided a cave by moonlight taking fire all the way to extract, and lain in their own urine and defecation for three days for a high-value shot, one cannot fully comprehend the soldier’s sacrifice.

 

How many old soldiers live with the memories of young soldiers following their orders being blown to pieces? How many remember their own fears, panic and pleas to God as they clinched in the wake of incoming blasts and repelled human wave attacks with every last ounce of strength they could humanly muster?

 

During a recent conversation, it was heartbreaking and shocking to hear a 90-year old WWII Veteran reminisce and say, with a voice weakened by time, “I wish I’d died over there.” I told him his life and his experiences were valuable to his family and this generation, and that he was loved by me and millions of other Americans, who understood he had laid it all on the line in the name of freedom. His only answer was a nod of his head, a half-smile and tears welling in his eyes.

 

How many old soldiers returned home only to send their sons off to war to fight and survive or return in a flag-draped coffin?

 

Since our nation’s founding, the strong independent nature of the American people carried over into the military, which enabled America to pursue her best interests and to become the strongest and wealthiest nation in the world. The wheel of destiny has turned so that any hope for peace and freedom will hinge on America’s moral courage and a U.S. military that ensures “peace through strength.”

 

This Memorial Day and every day forward, take a few moments, whenever the opportunity presents itself, to offer the most sincere, well-thought thanks to the men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces, with more than just a smile and a handshake. Offer a friendly ear on occasion and really listen. Offer a helping hand to those Veterans struggling to re-enter civilian life, and offer friendship to all of these brave men and women. And, as we acknowledge that so many have sacrificed their lives defending America, the U.S. Constitution and freedom and liberty worldwide, we offer our prayers for all the U.S. Armed Forces, who protect this nation’s existence each and every day, and we pray for America.

 

By Justin O. Smith

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Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Justin O. Smith

Honor and Sacrifices


U.S.- Duty, Honor, Country

Here is an awesome Memorial Day message from Justin Smith that honors veterans who lost the lives defending American Rights. Justin then deftly moves to criticizing the Obama Administration’s moral destruction of American military capability through the President’s Foreign Policy decisions.

 

JRH 5/24/15

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Honor and Sacrifices

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent: 5/23/2015 5:29 PM

 

“God and the soldier doth all men adore in time of war and not before; when the war is over and all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.” — signed by the 16th Regiment of Foot on January 30, 1770

 

Freedom is the most precious thing to all men and women, and since the Civil War, millions of Americans have placed their lives in harm’s way in the defense of God, family and freedom, with over one million making the ultimate sacrifice during the course of several wars from WWII, Korea and Vietnam to the present wars in the Middle East. The empty seats at family gatherings bear witness to this sacrifice by these honored dead, and we the living must be resolved that these soldiers “last full measure of devotion” and their lives were not sacrificed in vain.

 

Today Americans, who love this country see far too many others, malcontents, more than willing to sow the seeds of strife and discord, as they trample on the American Flag and dishonor the memories of those heroes we honor each Memorial Day. These fallen soldiers would least understand the twisted logic of these anti-American fascists, since our fallen often laid down their lives on the field of battle to stop the enemy from burning their flags, fighting to the death rather than suffer disgrace at the hands of their enemy.

 

On the foreign front and without any virtue, Obama has dishonored all U.S. Armed Forces members, those living and those killed in action, and their many sacrifices, through Middle East policies that have allowed the Islamic State to grow into a real security threat to America. His hasty withdrawal from Iraq, aimed at keeping a campaign promise, has been a direct factor in the fall of much of Iraq, including Ramadi, and this in turn ensures more long wars of attrition yet to come.

 

Scores of U.S. soldiers died defending Ramadi and hundreds more were wounded between 2006 and our final withdrawal, and about a week ago the world sat by idly watching as Ramadi fell to Islamic State fascists, who immediately murdered over 500 people and set the exodus of 25,000 Iraqis in motion; during their two month advance on Ramadi, these Islamofascists have forced 147,000 Iraqis to flee to refugee camps.

 

The images of Ramadi falling to the Islamic State and their black flags being raised has sent a chill through many Americans who fought in Iraq. They are more than disgusted that their sacrifices have seemingly been made in vain, for nothing.

 

General Douglas McArthur once noted that “Duty, Honor, Country” reverently dictates what each of us ought to be and can be, in regards to finding courage, faith and hope in the face of any crisis. Too many on the Left and too many in the top echelons of the U.S. military, including General Martin Dempsey, no longer seem to have a good grasp on the meaning of these words.

 

Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey is politicizing the U.S. Armed Forces, and he has become Obama’s echo chamber. He didn’t send extra security to Benghazi, because he “never received a request”; he never saw evidence of Iran’s military fighting in Iraq, even though Iranian Quds Forces have been in Iraq for most of the decade and 20,000 Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces have been there since last year. Dempsey’s habit of parroting Obama’s policies has resulted in a consistent record of failure.

 

During October 2014 Dempsey said, “We have a crisis in Iraq” (The Long War Journal), but by November he was telling troops in Baghdad that ISIS is “a bunch of midgets,” and several years would be needed to defeat them — several years to stop Obama’s “JV team”.

 

This past April, Gen. Dempsey suggested that Ramadi is “not symbolic in any way” and losing it would not be a major setback, even though it is only 75 miles from Baghdad. Dempsey stated, “I would much rather that Ramadi not fall, but it won’t be the end of the campaign should it fall.”

 

Debbie Lee, the mother of the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq and in Ramadi (awarded the Silver Star), was furious over Dempsey’s remarks, and she penned an open letter that read in part: “I am shaking and tears are flowing down my cheeks as I … listen to the insensitive pain-inflicting comments made by you in regards to the fall of Ramadi. My son and many others gave their future in Ramadi. Ramadi mattered to them. Many military analysts say that as goes Ramadi so goes Iraq.” (Iraq is already lost).

 

Lee went further: “You, sir, owe an apology to the families whose loved ones’ blood was shed in Ramadi … whose bodies were blown to pieces by IEDs and bullet holes leaving parts and pieces behind … Ramadi mattered to them. … You and this administration have minimized that Ramadi could fall. Now you are minimizing that it is falling, but you Sir WILL NOT minimize the sacrifice my son Marc Lee made or any of our brave warriors.” (The Daily Beast – 5/20/15)

 

Considering that America has already seen too many of Her Sons and Daughters return home in body bags and without arms and legs, lost in a war that was brought to them unasked for and undeserved — enough blood to last a lifetime and then some — Can anyone now honestly say that the mission in Iraq was worth it?

 

America can honor Her soldiers by praying for peace and working towards peace through strength, because we have seen the deepest wounds and scars of war, as Arlington Cemetery grows. We understand that wars often come at a time chosen by our enemies, but we do not want to fight twelve year wars ever again. We simply want our Armed Forces fully prepared to properly defend Our Beloved America on two fronts and, if pushed to war, to fight to win devastatingly quick.

 

With the war tocsins sounding across the globe, Obama and the Progressives are destroying the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national defense system, and a million ghosts are rising from their white crosses in Arlington Cemetery thundering the words “Duty, Honor, Country.

 

By Justin O. Smith

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Edited by John R. Houk

Links are provided by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

Proclamation to Reclaim Memorial Day


Debbie Lee & son Alan Lee

Move America Forward (MAF – also there is MAF Freedom PAC) is the premier charity/NGO that has the purpose of supporting our military in a patriotic fashion. MAF does not trash talk soldiers, sailors and airmen. Rather it supports causes that place our Military Servicemen on a pedestal of Patriotism. MAF would ignore the rare instance of a Serviceman that lost his cool and went on a rampage. The MSM media would probably take a minor incident and portray it as the standard for all the military. Or the MSM will run with false accusations of our Servicemen as if they were true rather than looking at both sides.

 

If you have loved ones overseas, MAF is doing its best to do something whether it is care packages, necessity packages or entertainment. Friends give to MAF and you will be giving to Servicemen fighting for the American way of life guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution.

 

Below is an email from a MAF Gold Star Mom – Gold Star meaning she lost a son in the GWOT – Debbie Lee. The email is a Memorial Day message which is quite heartfelt.

 

I am rearranging the email a little differently than how it was sent. I beginning with Debbie Lee’s message and end with the care package info that we all need to participate in for our troops overseas.

 

JRH 5/27/12

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Proclamation to Reclaim Memorial Day

 

Debbie Lee 2

 

By Debbie Lee

Gold Star Mother

Sent: 5/27/2012 6:36 PM

Sent from: MAF

 

The commercials on TV are calling us to purchase, cars, furniture, clothing, appliances, electronics or a myriad of other things to “Celebrate Memorial Day” with their huge blowout sales! Our Parks and Recreation programs are declaring summer has arrived by opening our pools and encouraging us to come join in the fun and laughter this Memorial Day weekend.  It saddens me and breaks my heart to see that most of America has taken advantage of this 3 day weekend as a reason to party, shop and celebrate for self-fulfillment.   As a country we have lost our focus and the reason why we take time to stop and respectfully, solemnly and reverently remember those who gave up their last breath and hope of a future, so that we could enjoy each and every day. We have failed our children by not educating them as to the real meaning of Memorial Day.

As I child I remember getting together with family for picnics or bar-b-ques.  We looked forward to camping trips or trips to the lake.  There were a few trips I remember to the cemetery but it was to place flowers on deceased relative’s graves who had never served in the military. I thought Memorial Day was to remember loved ones who had died. I wasn’t taught and therefore I missed the opportunity to teach my children that Memorial Day is to remember those who paid the ultimate price. Freedom comes with a price, freedom’s not free. 

It really was my son Marc Alan Lee who taught me about Memorial Day. The way he lived his life and the value he placed on others’ lives, caused him to sacrifice his life defending his teammates and our freedoms. Marc was the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq 8-2-06. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13  

The orders from Gen. John A. Logan declare “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit. “

General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on the first Observance of Memorial day and then 5,000 patriots decorated the graves of 20,000 soldiers buried in the cemetery. I am so proud of the boy scouts who every year place flags on my son’s grave and every headstone at Fort Rosecrans. I know that many others throughout the nation will be doing the same at National Cemeteries all over our country, thank you!

Waterloo, NY was declared by President Johnson as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. He recognized that this was a city who understood the real meaning of Memorial Day. They knew that Memorial Day was to honor America’s mighty warriors who sacrificed their lives in combat defending our freedoms. Businesses closed, community wide events were planned to honor our brave warriors who were killed in action and residents gathered and decorated the graves of our heroes.  How sad that there are businesses in America who take advantage of this holiday and choose to increase their profits instead of sacrificing a little by closing to remember the sacrifice of our fallen war heroes.

I speak for all of the Gold Star families who have lost a loved one in combat, that every day for us is Memorial Day. With pride and pain we remember them; we remember their smile, their voice, their smell, their touch, their laughter, their character, their dedication and their sacrifice. As a nation we ask that on Memorial Day, one day out of the year that as a Nation we corporately come together to honor our fallen heroes who died in combat.  That’s not asking too much for the blessings and freedoms that you enjoy every day.

 

Marc Alan Lee gravesite Memorial Day 2012

 

I’ve read many articles about Memorial Day and heard quotes from speeches from well-meaning people, even from our leaders in the military, who seem to not completely understand that Memorial Day is the Day we remember those heroes, who while serving in the military, died in combat. We have Armed Forces Day and Veterans Day to remember our Vets.  Personally not a day goes by that I don’t remember our Vets, not matter when they served, or the branch of service they were in. I’ve dedicated my life to honoring, thanking and supporting our military and especially the families of the fallen, but on May 28th, Memorial Day join with me as we “Remember” not “Celebrate” those who gave their all for you and I.

Join with me as I lead the charge to reclaim Memorial Day. Attend Parades and community events to remember our fallen heroes.  Take a carload of friends and family to a National Cemetery and decorate the graves and remember the sacrifice of a hero and their family. Thank the family members of those you know who lost a loved one in combat. Take a Gold Star family to lunch, coffee, dinner and ask them about their hero. Do something to let them know you have not forgotten the sacrifice and understand the high price that has been paid for our freedoms. Read a story of a fallen hero, watch a memorial video, then pass it on to those whose lives you have influence on. If you’re a business, close on May 28th to honor and remember our fallen or donate the proceeds from the day to a charity who tells the stories of our fallen or who takes care of the families of the fallen. Our fallen heroes gave their very last breath defending you and they have earned the respect due them on Memorial Day.

Remembering their Sacrifice!

Debbie Lee
Gold Star Mother of
Marc Alan Lee

 

CLICK HERE TO SEND CARE PACKAGE

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Answer the Call III

 

THINK OF OUR TROOPS THIS MEMORIAL DAY

 

Enjoying your three-day weekend? We hope so. We wish all of our supporters a happy Memorial Day, but we also want to remind everyone who we have to thank for the privilege of observing this holiday, our troops.

While back home we have the privilege of getting everyone together for a family cook out or bbq, our troops are still fighting a war in Afghanistan. Our troops don’t get to have a barbecue, unless they get really inventive, like this Marine who improvised a very crude grill over some rocks.

And the main course for this Afghanistan cookout? SPAM. That’s their idea of a Memorial Day BBQ. Kind of makes you appreciate the luxurious surroundings and supermarkets we enjoy at home, doesn’t it?

 

WHAT IS ANSWER THE CALL AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

 

Answr Call III 218 Marines

 

Every summer, Move America Forward spends a month focusing on supporting one particular unit deployed in Afghanistan. We select this unit based on the difficulty of their mission and the danger level in the region of Afghanistan in which they are fighting.

We have selected 800 Marines from the 2nd MEF to support and we’ll continue raising money until we have enough to send support to all 800 of these troops, who are operating in 2 of the most dangerous provinces in Afghanistan.

We have currently raised enough to help 582 of the Marines, but that means we’re still short by 291! With Memorial Day tomorrow, are we really going to allow 218 Marines to go without support??

 

CLICK HERE TO SEND CARE PACKAGE

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About MAF

 

About Move America Forward Move America Forward is a non-partisan, not-for-profit charitable organization committed to supporting America’s efforts to defeat terrorism and supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces.

 

Move America Forward has organized several national tours to support the troops with rallies in dozens of cities across the country and produced television and radio ad campaigns. MAF even organized several trips to Iraq to tell the American people about the great work that our troops are doing there, as well as bring our message of thanks and support directly to the troops themselves. Contributions are tax deductible. (Read More)

 

MAF Memorial dedication Video from 2008 dedicated to Marc Alan Lee

 

 

About MAF Freedom PAC

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