Commerce, TX – Memorial Day falls on Monday or Tuesday, depending on the interpretation of its actual date, and I'm never more at odds with myself than now. Having just finished a Bachelors at Texas A&M University-Commerce, having spent so many years (nine now, both active and now as a reservist) in the Navy, and now in my swan song before leaving for Afghanistan soon, I'm as burdened as ever with the throes of lengthy apathy of war and my obligatory service to assist in it.
Day after day we catch glimpses of it on the television or computer, caught in the midst of Middle East conflict and celebrity gossip there's the casual mention of another lost soldier, sailor, Marine, or airman to the "War on Terror". Time might heal all wounds, as the expression goes, but so too may it allow people to become so accustomed to war and loss that we kids of an empire become forgotten relics of an enduring conflict.
My duty I cannot eschew, it was never a draft or conscription that made me join. I did as many have done for many years and joined the military to leave small town Texas and make something of myself. I hope I have, just as many others have left homes all over our country over the years, male or female, to join the military with an idea that they're doing something for country and so too themselves.
This Memorial Day, I take leave of my hat and of my pride to sense in myself and hopefully in others that we are not forgotten. We are the lost sons and daughters of a new era of fighting that has no clear cut finale or victor, but do so to honor both our families and ourselves.
To veterans of previous wars that are still with us, I salute you. To my brothers and sisters that serve as I do now I thank you. We are together, we are all one, and we'll always have each other as a family. Happy Memorial Day.