Memorial Day

Another Memorial Day is upon us. While it can be a celebration of life, it is also a time to remember those who have sacrificed. A major theme of this blog is “…Those who have gone before.” Every Memorial Day I get quite emotional. I have personally met men who later died in battle or sneak attacks. It would take one misstep, or one fluke for me to join their ranks.

For most men of arms that I know, it is a time of deep reflection.

“Will my family be taken care of if I’m gone?”
“What will my parents think?”
“Will I honor my family and my service by my actions?”

About 2 years ago, I had a post about my personal honor roll. As with any warrior, it grows every year. On the one hand, I am thankful I am still here. On the other, there but for the grace of God go I.

We had 2 sailors die in a mudslide this year. There was nothing we could do about it. They were living in that location because of their duty station. This is their day just as much as those who have died in combat.

There are others as well. Many warriors suffer from PTSD. This is their day too. Some of their sanity was lost at war.

By all means, honor our men and women of the Armed Forces. But this is a day for them to honor their lost brothers and sisters or fathers and mothers. For some, it is quite personal.

This is not a day to praise a veteran or an active Armed Service member. It is a day to thank the young child that will never meet their father. It is a day to thank the Gold Star mother or wife. It is a day to remember the father who had to bury his son. That is an inversion of the natural order.

We have our days. We have Armed Forces Day and Veteran’s Day. This is our day to honor our fallen brethren. We shall drink and carry on, because that is the way the military honors their own. We will remember funny anecdotes and stories.

On Monday, we will be placing flags on the graves of veterans at the local cemetery. It Is a small action. It means the world to some. I find it to be quite an honor.

That is all. Always remember. Fall out and carry out the plan of the day.

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The Doolittle Raid

I wrote here https://freshairsnipe.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/those-who-have-gone-before-2/ about the Doolittle raid. Today is its anniversary. That raid was a textbook example of interoperability and joint service cooperation.

The Naval History blog has an article about it today.

http://www.navalhistory.org/2014/04/18/doolittle-raid-lesson-in-joint-innovation-resilience

My first link sums up my opinion quite well. I couldn’t say it better again if I tried.

Five to six men got promoted or earned awards based on that action. We showed what we could do.

Success here set up our success in the Battle of Midway. I encourage you to read the links.

Please remember. That is all. Fall out and carry out the plan of the day.

Today in Navy History

March 9

1798 – Appointment of first surgeon U.S. Navy, George Balfour-water and Motrin soon found to be a cure-all
1847 – Commodore David Connor leads successful amphibious assault near Vera Cruz, Mexico-“The Halls of Montezuma ”
1862 – First battle between ironclads, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia
1914 – Test of wind tunnel at Washington Navy Yard-now the wind tunnels are found a few blocks over.