I've contemplated what I wanted to write today. I wanted to write something meaningful. I want to make sure that I honored the service that our Veterans have graciously provided. I was reflecting back to my time in the Army. All the years that I was in, I didn't get asked to do anything like our Soldiers today are asked to do and I didn't do anything that those who served prior to my signing the contract were asked to do. I served with pride and I am proud of the time I wore the uniform. The one assignment that I had that made me think that our military was great was the 2 1/2 years we spent in Korea. It was an interesting time for sure. I know there are many who get sent to Korea who greatly dislike it there. I am glad that I had the opportunity to venture outside the gated communities and explore the country itself. Where we were stationed was a more rural area, it was an older setting. As we went to the markets and other places within the city, we ran into an older generation. The generation that remembered the actual war. The interesting thing about Korea is that it is still technically at war so when you are stationed there you are considered "forward deployed". It's not considered a deployment like a rotation to Iraq or Afghanistan but it is a "combat zone" so to speak. There many times that Kevin and I were stopped by some of the older Koreans who shared a smile or even some fruit or vegetables from their baskets. They remembered what is was like when war broke out into their country. They remembered family members going out to shop for food and never coming home because while they were out, Korea was divided. They remembered and they were thankful for the American presence soon after that. I remember touring the DMZ before coming home and standing there looking into North Korea. It didn't look so different, the North Korean Soldiers didn't look any different that the KATUSA's that worked with us did. It was a humbling experience to say the least. As I was standing there, I remember being grateful for those who had served before me and the sacrifices they had made. My tour in Korea wasn't rough by any means, I had it pretty good, but I was blessed with the opportunity to reflect back and think about the many Service members who had served almost 50 years before me, the ones that older generation remembered. Many served in the Korean War, known as the Forgotten War, to the Veterans who served in that conflict, I haven't forgotten and I thank you for your service.
Yesterday as I attended the different events at my kid's school and listened to the stories and questions and comments, I was overwhelmed with pride. We have teachers who served, we have parents who serve and have served. I am so proud to be an American and to have worn the uniform that so many great warriors have worn before me and the many still to come.
I have many friends who have served and I am grateful for their service. To my Lisa, it is I who am honored to have served with you in Korea. I was proud when you went to Iraq and though I missed you, I know you served with honor. I have always admired the great Soldier you were. To LaNita, I joke with you that you weren't a real Soldier, but you were and you are. You continue to serve in a way that many do not understand. To my husband, there are not words enough to say the pride I have when I call myself a Soldier's wife. Why? Because that Soldier is you and you are a Soldier's Soldier. I fear that the many who serve with you do not see the blessing that it is to have you as their leader. I admit to being biased in that opinion but I know your heart and if they saw that, they would understand my words.
As I conclude this entry, and the tears form in my eyes, I must honor those who have paid the Ultimate Price. The many who have served with honor and didn't come home. There truly are no words in which to honor these great men and women. Thank you to their families and to them isn't enough. But I can honor them by not forgetting and by teaching my children the importance of their sacrifices. Their legacy will live on forever because we know that the future is nothing without knowledge of the past.
We will never forget our fallen warriors ♥SFC Bryant Herlem, SGT Jose Gomez, SGT Brandon Teeters, SGT Jeremy King, CPT James Funkhouser, SSG Bryant Mackey, SPC Geoffrey Johnson♥ Forever in our hearts.
"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."