Memorial Day 2010

Personal

I don’t know what he’s doing right now, but I have a pretty good guess. He’s hung the Marine Corp flag under the United States flag out on the porch, later stepping onto the lawn to make sure they look good. He’ll lean back admire his handiwork the same way he has for the past 15 years. He’ll be wearing his red USMC sweatpants–despite the heat–and be topless. And, no, my dad doesn’t care what our neighbors must think. We’ve asked him.

He’ll make breakfast for the family, making note of how his bottle opener plays the USMC anthem, and talk of his days in Vietnam. His memories are scattered, but they’re peppered with regret, sadness, and a little nostalgic. Right before breakfast he’ll say a prayer for those around the world serving and protecting our country. Later he’ll talk about the thing he missed the most while in Vietnam: tortillas.

My dad will remind the family to think of our armed service members and thank their families. And I’ll nod in agreement. Because, really, there are thousands of men and women protecting this nation and allowing us to live the way we do. In light of this, if you’re a family member to a son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandson or the like, thank you. I appreciate the sacrifices your family is making on behalf of ours.