When I was younger Memorial Day was just another day off from school. Now however, I have a deeper appreciation for the holiday. I hope that in between the margaritas and time at the beach, everyone can take a moment to remember the sacrifice made by so many service-members throughout American history.
The first time a KIA hit home was my Junior year of high school when Marine 1st LT Andrew K Stern was killed in Iraq. He wasn't that much older than me and had shared so many of the same experiences. It was so strange that someone so similar to me could be killed while serving our country. Although I didn't know LT. Stern, I felt a connection to him and his family. A few years ago Lane and I went to Arlington Cemetery. I happened to mention that it would be nice to visit LT. Stern's grave. Not five minutes later we happened to walk directly in front of it.
There are so many ways to help service members and their families. The USO is a wonderful organization and you can help send care packages overseas here. My Memorial Day will be spent with my wonderful soldier husband in Syracuse. I love being a part of the Army family, and feel blessed to experience the military in a way which is unknown to so many Americans.