Words are Great, Actions are Better

Image may contain: text that says '"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them." JOHN F. KENNEDY WomansDay'Having a son in the military means that days that used to just be part of a 3-day weekend, now have new meaning.

It should have always been this way. Memorial Day. Veterans Day. It’s a time to stop and consider sacrifices made not only by our military members but their families and friends for the safety and security of people they don’t know.

My oldest son decided that he was going to join the military in middle school. When we asked him why he said: “I want to make a difference and I can’t do it sitting behind a desk.”

He applied to and got into the Air Force Academy, graduating in 2017.

When he’s out in public in uniform, people will stop him and tell him “Thank you for your service.” It makes him uncomfortable. He always responds “Thank you for your support.” He doesn’t know what else to say.

While he has been in on active duty for 6 years (4 at the Air Force Academy and 2 in the “real Air Force”), he doesn’t feel like he’s done anything special to merit the “service” part of it. He sees people every day who have gone or are going out on deployment, leaving their families and friends and heading into the unknown.

At some point, we know that will be him. As it has been and will be for many of our friends with sons and daughters in the military.

Some will say it’s what we signed up for. And it is.

National holidays set aside for our active military, former military and veterans are set aside because that’s how it should be. You sign up for duty not knowing where you will live or how it will impact your life. You hand over control of a lot of your life to the federal government.

You do it because you believe in something bigger than yourself.

Memorial Day is a day when we remember those men and women who died in service to the United States. Remember, though, there are Gold Star Families and friends who have also sacrificed. They have sacrificed their loved ones and their lives in service to this nation.

Continue to express your gratitude, but if so moved, also consider taking action. Volunteer opportunities at the USO, Military Kids Clubs, and VA Hospitals are available for anybody who wants to help. Monetary donations to organizations like the Gary Sinise Foundation and other organizations that serve the families and warriors who come home are always welcome.

Words are good. Action is better. On this Memorial Day, take a minute to think about what has been given to all of us by those who serve and their families. And take whatever action you can.#HappyFix #USO #GarySiniseFoundation