I getting ready to show my age but when I was a youngster my brothers had a great collection of the green army men that were posed in different ways usually with weapons of battle, as well as other equipment such as radios and binoculars. They were small and usually a source of entertainment for any boy (and a few of us girls) for hours of playtime. These tiny green army men are about play and imagination, especially about recreating movies we watched with our parents, movies such as Patton or The Bridge on the River Kwai. Our toy soldiers might conquer the playground one day and save nation the next day in the minds of us kids. That’s the only time we pretended to be an American soldier.
Unfortunately, some adults still like to pretend and take credit as a veteran just to impress someone or get some kind of gratitude from people they normally would never have. These fakes crave the prestige and respect that only should be shown to those who have actually served our country, the true soldiers, our nation’s heroes. I was made a fool of recently by someone who I was dating who had me convinced he was a veteran of Desert Storm. He claimed to have been a few other things as well, all turned out as lies but the one that really hurt me was his false claim of being an Air Force veteran. I have, like many of you, family and friends, who sacrificed for future generations. Yes, I was played as a fool, one of the worst feelings in the world is to know you were used and lied to by someone you placed trust in. “Showing off is the fool's idea of glory.” - Bruce Lee
This past Monday marked Memorial Day, the day to remember and honor the lives of our fallen servicemen and women who didn’t come home to their families and friends, so that we can have the freedoms that many of us take for granted.
“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” - General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.
These soldiers, men and women, answered the call to stand the ramparts and defend all that we hold dear; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s is a day of showing honor and reaffirming the promise to not let their sacrifice have been in vain. It is a day in which we need to stand tall with honor for having them in our lives and cry as well because they are no longer with us. We need to be proud to carry on their memory at one of the thousands of cemeteries at which they now lay at rest and reflect on the sacrifices that have been made to ensure we remain the land of the free.
"I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country… Yet, we must try to honor them—not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice." – President Ronald Reagan