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With the holiday weekend coming up and the summer holidays coming soon, why don’t we focus on how we celebrate?
Memorial Day is a time for reflection, and as the daughter of a retired National Guardsman, who was briefly active army during the Vietnam Conflict (he did not see action overseas), and the Goddaughter of a Vietnam War Combat Veteran…I take the holiday pretty seriously. Don’t mistake, I’m not a flag waving nationalist. I’d like to see our troops put to better use than invading sandy countries to ‘bring democracy’ to the natives, which is just code for the military industrial complex opening new markets and making a killing, literally, off the blood, sweat and tears of our men and women in uniform and the often innocent victims in their path. That’s why they come back so fucked up. Trust me, I know. I work around Veteran’s Affairs. You read between the lines enough, you get it. Haliburton and all those companies, built false pretenses and profited. Our soldiers have paid with scars unseen and seen.
You’ll find me on social media, posting on picture of veteran’s or a memorial…usually a wounded person or a stone, to remind people, that though they think this is a great day to take off to the beach: there are those who will never do so again, and gave up their breath to make sure you didn’t have to go without. I tend to use the long weekend to reflect and research, because my books are almost always about war.
So while you’re guzzling beers and brats, don’t forget what the day is really about. Past, Present and even future: there will always be Memorial Days but I look forward to the day we don’t have to mourn dead soldiers alongside their heartbroken but proud families, whisper thank you’s that do nothing to put back the shattered limbs or heal the scars of proud men and women in the uniform they are honored to wear. Enjoy your fireworks, but know that there is a veteran nearby cowering in fear of the sound.
Always, always, remember: We built that. There is a better way and it is time for a change.
Thanks for reading! Please do go check out how Author Traci-Wooden Carlisle answers this poignant question on her blog.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Mrs. Wooden-Carlisle desired to be a poet and novelist at the age of 11. Today, Mrs. Wooden Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband, serving as a church Office Manager, teaches fitness classes, celebrates her faith through dance, and is currently writing her third book in the Christian-fiction series, Promises to Zion. Check out her other books here.
PJ Fiala is originally from Missouri. She moved to Wisconsin with her family when she was 13 years old, city kids learning to farm. The farm started out with 28 rescue cows (they were adopted from the Humane Society who took them from abusive circumstances). With all the hard work and the deep winters, Wisconsin was a hard sell until PJ met her husband. They have four children and three grand children. The pair enjoy riding their motorcycles, on which they meet new places and visit places new and old.
PJ comes from a long line of veterans: “My grandfather, father, brother, two of my sons, and one daughter-in-law are all veterans. Needless to say, I am proud to be an American and proud of the service my amazing family has given.”