May 27, 2012 A Memorial Day Message: We Pause In Reflection and Memory
As a spouse or relative of a member of the armed services, we live with the acceptance that or love ones may be sacrificed for the freedom of our country. During times of war or conflict this acceptance is accompanied with an underlying fear that we may one day receive the call that the ultimate sacrifice has been made. I did not receive that call during our time of service. Early this year we received a call that our tenant, a young soldier recently returned from Iraq and diagnosed with PTSD, had succumbed to the scars of battle and taken his life. The emotions of the tragedy and our grief for his sacrifice, is unparalleled to that of his wife and small child and his other loved ones left behind.
At the start of the Gulf War, we were stationed in Goeppingen, Germany. The alert came in the middle of the night and as my husband gathered his gear and prepared to leave, there were little words to be spoken between us, but the fear was paramount. He left with the certainty that I knew what was expected of me, and that I had been properly prepared for this event by the military from the day we arrived in Germany. My fear was not for me and what I was to do in a foreign country with two small children, but a fear that it may be the last time that I would see my husband. As we began our day –after the alert, I emerged in our stairwell to find armed soldiers posted at all the entry ways. At the daycare I was met by posted armed soldiers , at work and the commissary… the same scenario. It was at this point that I realized that there are two parts to a deployment; the mission to “deploy and defend” and the mission to “remain and protect”. The soldiers of Cooke Barracks returned home because its mission was different, but our installation remained at the heightened state of security throughout the war.
The two real scenarios above are my experiences and do not begin to fully illustrate the sacrifices of our armed forces and their families. Scenarios like the ones mentioned above are the realities of military life. Families struggle with the perils of service both prior to, during and at the end of war.
On this Memorial Day we pause from our political debates, the official start of the summer season, and the myriad of retail sales, to acknowledge that it is because of your sacrifice that we have the freedom to express our opinions on political agendas and to celebrate summer with ease and without fear.
To the service members and their families: the partners of DB Latimore Professional Services Group, LLC stand in memory of your great sacrifice. We remember not only those that died in theater but those who returned home, but did not survive due to the emotional and physical wounds of war. We salute your willingness to stand for freedom whether it was on Hamburger Hill or in the Hills of Afghanistan. To our veterans, we not only thank you for your service, we encourage you to share your stories of the comrades that stood with you and were lost in battle. To the service member whose mission was to stay behind and protect us; we say thank you.