Remembering Memorial Day and those it points to!

Being in Hawaii for those 18 months reminded me of the incredible sacrifice our military and their families make to protect our country. If you didn't know, I am an ex-military brat. My dad served in the Navy and my step-father served in the Marines. I remember in High School, when my step-father had to leave us for 3-6 months on deployment. He would come back with what I thought were pretty cool stories, but now that I think through them, he went through some tough stuff. It was hard on my mom not having him around for those months and sometimes harder when he came back, trying to adjust to all the new things and rules that had been established in his absence.

I have seen that last point recently with our friends who lived next door. The Hazelwoods paid a ton for their dad and husband to serve in the Army. There were tough adjustments while He was gone and sometimes tougher adjustments when He came back. My understanding is Captain Hazelwood was gone into combat for over 1 year. There are tolls on the mind from seeing what he saw and experiencing what he had to endure.

There are my friends the Molitors. Sean has endured injury after injury jumping out of planes. He and his wife spent 18+ months not living in the same country in absolutely opposite time zones. Their marriage was attacked and their health was beaten down. Sean will endure surgery after surgery as they attempt to fix his legs and shoulders. However, they fight for each other and our country.

There are the Hughes who were transferred off the islands and are serving in the mainland. Colonel Hughes and her husband Chris are strong believers in Christ. Their faith has been attacked several times. They continue to move where the Air Force sends them and make disciples of those they touch. Their 2 kids moved schools this past year, however, they also suffered reverse racism at the hands of local kids in Hawaii. Being a white kid in Hawaii isn't what it may seem to be. Chris and Vicki's oldest daughter was continually tempted to fail and then rejected when she didn't. Their son had few friends because he was a white military kid in a very Asian and Polynesian society.

There are others that we met, separated from their wives, kids or family because they were serving our country. They didn't complain, they didn't moan, they took the struggle and put it deep inside them.  Many of them alone sine they will only be at their station for a short term, only to leave those they have connected with and created family with. Our military families don't just give their breath for us, their give up their lifestyle. They are continuously inconvenienced for our freedoms. Moms and dads are shipped all over the world fighting to give us the right to live the way we live. Children sleep in less full houses because mom or dad (or both) are strapping on a bullet proof vests and walking in hostile places. Parents meet planes carrying the bodies of those who gave their last breath, all in the name of our freedoms.

Let us not forget our military. I know some might think they don't deserve this honor and you have that freedom to think that since they protect your right to protest. How many of us would sacrifice our lifestyles and families to allow people to argue with each other over military budgets or waged wars? Thank you to all who are currently serving and for those families who live without their loved ones because they gave their last breath protecting our freedom in the United States of America.

Today, my family and I remember this day and all of you who it points to!

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