Memorial Day 2010


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.

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  1. felicia

    May 31st, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Just love your stories…I think your next adventure should be a book…you really paint a picture! Happy Memorial Day! God bless all the service men and women.

  2. Dani

    May 31st, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you, Jasmine! I got teary reading this. We never thought we would be a military family but here we are saying a prayer every night that my little brother comes home safe from wherever he is. Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!

  3. Michelle Cross

    May 31st, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    This is sweet and makes my heart happy. I wish for one quick second Colton and your dad could hang out and open a hundred bottles with that super fantastic bottle opener. I think they might become bffs for an afternoon and that, too, would make my heart happy.

  4. Vanessa Corral

    May 31st, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Hey Jasmine, send a big HURRAH to your Daddy! As a sister of a Marine I know it’s just part of their DNA now. 🙂 Thank you to ALL the soldiers for serving our country!!

  5. Latasha Haynes

    May 31st, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    This is incredibly touching Jasmine! Praise God for you dad who served and the millions who serve daily!

  6. angel

    May 31st, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Bless all who are serving, have served And have died serving our country. It’s a sacrifice I have never quite been able to wrap my brain around because I don’t have anyone close to me active in the military. God bless your dad!

  7. Bob Schnell

    May 31st, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Sounds a little like my dad, back when he was able to do such things.

  8. angel

    May 31st, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    God bless your dad. Bless those serving, those who have served and lived to tell about it. Bless the families of those lost while serving. It’s such a sacrifice and I really can’t wrap my brain around it. On my way to the workshop I saw lots of military fatigues in the Atlanta airport and I think I posted on Facebook about how it choked me up. I hope everyone remembers the reason we celebrate such a holiday. Freedom rocks!

  9. Dorinda

    May 31st, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    I just visited the Vietnam Memorial in DC with my dad, also a Vietnam Veteran. In raw emotion, it ranks up there with childbirth. My dad’s stories are peppered with the same mix of emotions. Give your dad a big thanks for his service in Vietnam from this very grateful lady! We are daughters of REAL American Heroes!

  10. jamie bentley

    May 31st, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    give your papa a big hug from one Marine family to another! thank you for posting this J!

  11. Kimberly

    May 31st, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    You have a way with reminding us all to stop and think. Thank you!

  12. P

    May 31st, 2010 at 8:14 pm


  13. Evie Perez

    May 31st, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Aww- thank you Jasmine for this post, and a big THANK YOU to your papi for serving!!! I am honored to be married to a Solider. This post melts my heart like butter and makes me warm like toast!! My husband is leaving for Afghanistan laster this year and I know he is going to miss his tortillas and chile- Lol!!

  14. Lydia

    May 31st, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    All gave some, but some gave all.

  15. Courtney

    May 31st, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    This is unbelievably sweet, Jasmine! I thank your father tremendously for his service to this country.
    Happy Memorial Day! [:

  16. Cathy Crawley

    June 1st, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Hello, goosebumps! Happy memorial day to you and your family 🙂

  17. Lora Ayers

    June 1st, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Thanks for this great post! Happy memorial day to you and yours! 🙂

  18. Diandra

    June 1st, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Ack. Jasmine you made me cry. Again. THANK YOU Pancho. Your dad is amazing. I am thankful for him 🙂

  19. Alexandra

    June 1st, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Jasmine, you write beautifully. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  20. Christina

    June 1st, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    THANK YOU! For your post and for your gratitude. My little brother just returned from two years in South Korea serving in the Air Force and I am so thankful to have him home safely. My thoughts and prayers are with all military families… not just on Memorial Day, but every day.

  21. Rachel

    June 1st, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you for remembering those who have served. My husband is currently in the Marine Corps and I know I can never say ‘thank you’ enough, not only to him but to everyone who has ever had the courage to keep me free and safe here in the US.

  22. life with kaishon

    June 1st, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    So beautifully said.
    Topless Daddies. Does it get any better? : ) Mine makes me smile so as he jostles around on his lawn mower topless as can be.

  23. amanda thiessen

    June 1st, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    thank you for the post! we all seem to forget it’s not about just a day’s a day that our soliders faught and continue to fight for this beautiful country.

  24. Amber Ketola

    June 2nd, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Thanks, Jasmine’s dad for your service! My husband just got out of the Marine Corps in August and was able to march in the parade yesterday and carry the colors for the USMC. I am so proud of my Marine. Thank you to all who have served! God bless you!

  25. feuza

    June 2nd, 2010 at 3:52 am

    a post with no pictures sometimes is even better, well said my friend

  26. steven antique

    June 3rd, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Nice blog.. actually its a Day in the life!

  27. Linda Sherrill

    June 3rd, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks for remembering those of us who have served!

  28. Jan

    June 4th, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Thanks for this great post!

  29. Freckles Chick

    June 4th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I’ve been a lurker, admiring your photography, for a couple yrs now (I mean that in the most uncreepy way possible) but this post resonated so deeply w/ me, I just had to comment. My dad served in Vietnam too & I feel like your post could be about him!! Brought tears to my eyes & pride to my heart. Thank you!

  30. Kristen

    June 7th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Truly Touching.