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Memorial Day is my favorite holiday of the year. I teared up this morning when I heard Trace Adkins do his song Arlington this morning and could not stop the tears when I think of those I know who I served with who are no longer here and my childhood hero Woody who was a Marine in Vietnam who committed suicide in the late 1970s . He left the war, it never left him. Semper Fi Woody.

Some wounded had no external scars and were wounded mentally from their experience. God bless all who still bear the burden internally.

I am saddened our community‘s celebration for Monday has been cancelled, but I’ll keep the meaning of the day in my heart.

All of you out there please remember Monday it’s it not about boating, barbecuing, Having a picnic. It is about those who gave all. I will leave you all with this to ponder.

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Amen from this Proud Kentucky jarhead.
 

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I had a nice chat A few minutes ago with a friend of mine who is a Gold Star Mother this morning. Her son, like me, was a Marine, serving in Afghanistan six years ago. She is a trooper.

on Monday she will hold a special place in my wife and my heart. Losing a child to war is horrendous.
 

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13 years ago, I joined the army on a whim. I wanted to get away from home. And then a strange thing happened... I fell in love with the army. I loved the people I was with. And I couldn't bring myself to leave, so I stayed in the army.

Both of my brothers ended up joining the army after I did. Go figure, they ended up being stationed at the same base in Germany. One is infantry, the other is EOD.

I used to drink a shot on memorial day for those who I have known and loved that I have lost over the years.

If I were to do that now, it would kill me. Too many shots.

Too many names, too many faces, too many souls.

There aren't very many holidays I care about, but I pay attention to this one.
 

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To me, this holiday is one of those holidays where there is just too much to put it into words. I will say this: I remember and will always remember. Some are dead and not forgotten; some did not die but brought the war home with them.

To those who gave all...
 

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For most years, this would be the day to kick off summer. Family, friends getting together outside at the beach parks, etc having a bbq and the like. Obviously this year will be different for most people. I typically commemorate this day a little different. I start the day with workout that celebrates our fallen, some of you may be familiar with it. It is called the Murph workout, in dedication to the fallen hero, US Navy SEAL Michael Murphy. But, really is a dedication to all fallen soldiers. It consist of:

1 mile run
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 air squats
1 mile run
and doing so wearing a weighted vest, 14 lbs for women and seniors and 20 lbs for males.

I would then of course fire up the bbq, low key... not necessarily a holiday feeling but one that celebrates the lives lost. I grew up with loss. I lost a cousin in Vietnam, one of my childhood friends, his older brother also lost his life in Vietnam. My father did return from WWII and the Korean War alive and has since passed on (he was able to live out his natural life through old age). But, parts of him I am sure died inside from his experiences, and would explain him.

I am still doing the Murph this morning, just not with all the congregation of fellow workout warriors.
 

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Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. They all ended up looking like civil wars.

Back in January, I responded to an attack on camp Simba, in Kenya. About a week or so after the Iranian missile attacks on alasad air base in western Iraq. I spent a few months there too, back in 2011.

I got to meet the SECDEF and the SEAC back then.


Modern military service is... weird. It's a slow grind.
 

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Just a reminder, this is a day to celebrate the fallen not those of us who have served. The day to celebrate those who have served and survived is on 11/11 (Veteran’s Day). This day is reserved for the fallen heroes.

Very true.

But it's sometimes hard to separate our stories.
 

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I want to give a shout out to David Emanuel Hickman, Alex Conrad, and Dustin Wright.

And Jay Landon Sevier(we all called him coach).

They were good people. Very good people.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
While we were unable to have our community Memorial Day ceremony. Several of us set up the missing man table in out town square this morning. Never forget.
 

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