How grateful I am for every single person who has ever served in the military or who is currently serving! They put their lives on the line to serve our country, both domestically and internationally. They have protected us in all types of crises and have sacrificed themselves in order to save others. They have done everything necessary to protect all of our freedoms so that we can live our lives as we choose. So why is it so difficult for us to honor them the same way in return?
I believe that the single biggest thing that is due to every single military person is our respect. I am hoping that this year on Memorial Day that each of us takes a moment to think about those who protect and serve our country and that we make a resolution to do at least one special thing for a military person in the coming year.
Memorial Day is the day that is set aside each year to recognize and remember but so many only see the day as the beginning of summer and a day off from work to party. I am all for celebrating the day but I think that we can do so without forgetting the underlying meaning. I love the parades and the festivals and the picnics and the family gatherings but I don’t think that any event should happen without at least some reminder of the reason for this day.
It seems that we forget those who have served, even on the day that has been set aside to remember them and I sure would love to see that changed. I am glad that I work for a company that has an initiative for hiring those who have served when their tour of duty has been completed. I am happy whenever I see a story about a returning military person reunited with his/her children from whom he/she has been separated for a long time while protecting us. I am touched each time that I see someone approach a person in uniform and thank them for their service. But, I think that there is so much more that needs to be done.
Those in the military are not well paid for what they do and I think that it is time for a bit more equity here. Those in Congress and others who work for the government are very well compensated both while in service and after they have completed their time. They don’t have to put their lives on the line and they don’t have to serve for any more than four years so why should Congressmen and Congresswomen be paid so much more? Congress members have super benefits after their time in Congress has been completed so why do we not accord our service men and women the very same benefits? I don’t think that that is asking for too much.
If you happened to notice, those who were victims of the Boston bombers who lost limbs have been given treatment and artificial limbs free of charge as well they should have been. Can’t we as a country provide limbs to those who lost them in combat at government expense along with the training and therapy that is needed to use them? Can’t we help to subsidize the incomes of those who have served so that they can provide for themselves and their families until they are able to secure employment?
I have a friend who served in the Marines who died from lung cancer this past week. He lost his job a little over a year ago and was not able to pay for the medical treatment that he needed. He was not able to get the government assistance for the treatment that may have saved his life. He had a little bit of savings but chose to give his life rather than bankrupt his family by spending the money that may have saved his life in case it didn’t work. I know that I would rather have my tax dollars working to help veterans with their lives rather than being spent on all sorts of wasteful projects and studies that are paybacks to certain groups that helped to get the politicians elected. I believe that those who worked so hard to protect us deserve more than we are giving back to them currently.
I believe that the single biggest thing that is due to every single military person is our respect. I am hoping that this year on Memorial Day that each of us takes a moment to think about those who protect and serve our country and that we make a resolution to do at least one special thing for a military person in the coming year. I also hope that we do what we can to bring about changes that will provide for better help and assistance to our military personnel and that we make a promise to ourselves to never forget all that they have done and continue to do for us each day. In this way, we can make a difference and that is the least that we can do to give back to these brave men and women.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.