Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor our fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice, a day of remembrance for the 1.2 million men and women who answered the Nation’s call and protected the many freedoms that we have as Americans.
As a U.S. Army veteran with two combat tours and 20 years of active service, this day will always hold special meaning. I was 19 years old when I deployed for my first combat tour to Afghanistan. It was unlike anything I ever experienced — going on convoy missions, to being mortared on our fobs, I was and am always aware of how fortunate I am that I was one to make it back home.
However, there were many who didn’t. Men and women, the same age I was, and some older whose bravery will forever be remembered.
The military’s all-volunteer force is made up
of less than 10% of the American people, meaning through six degrees of separation everyone possibly knows of someone who is currently serving, or has served in the military. While many Americans use this day to kickoff summer and backyard BBQs, it is important that we stop and reflect on those who sacrificed their lives for us to enjoy such leisure.
On Memorial Day, I also stop to reflect on the many mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children who have had to bury their loved ones due to the cost of war.
I will never forget my comrades and battles who selflessly gave their lives and upheld the greatest of the Army Values — Honor and Duty.
I retired from active duty in early May and have joined the NAIFA team to serve in a public relations role. I am excited to be a part of the NAIFA team and NAIFA Nation has welcomed me with open arms. I am eager to learn more about the organization and its members, and promote the values of NAIFA just as I have done for the U.S. Army for the last 20 years serving in public relations and communications roles for the military.
Today, military veterans serve in all industries and I know I’m not alone at NAIFA! I encourage all veterans to share their stories and reflect on the ones we have lost along the way.
On Memorial Day there will be countless ceremonies, parades, and the laying of wreaths to honor our fallen. We will forever be grateful for their sacrifice to the greatest country on earth. Their memories will always live on in our hearts.