Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day - Remembering Military Friends

Seaman Robert F. Noe
I intended to spend today considering responses to Wednesday's post about whether online friends are 'worth' grieving. But responses are still coming in, so I decided to let that topic percolate for a week. So if you want to join that discussion, feel free.

Below is my post from last Memorial Day. We won't actually celebrate it until Monday, but I think it's worth looking at again, with a recommendation of how you can show your appreciation to our troops.

I was thinking today, Memorial Day, about my father. He enlisted in the Navy in January, 1946, at the age of 17. Too late for the war, he spent two years up and down the coast of California. He talked about the men he served with in much the same way as we’ve become used to in movies and on TV.

We've seen many over the years - sprawling blockbusters, quiet reflections, black & white and color - on the big screen and on TV. Each is a little different, a slightly different take on war, death, life, friendship, purpose:

Band of Brothers
The Great Escape
Apocalypse Now
The Longest Day
The Great Santini


Movies and TV shows about war and the military are set in a time and place that most of us didn’t experience. They include archival footage and simulations of famous battles. They are more or less factually based. They tell a story of a unique moment in time.
But at their core, the best ones are stories about relationships. Sometimes resorting to stereotypical characters (the “lifer”, the “farm boy”, the “coward”), they still create compelling stories about the men (and sometimes women) who fought to defend our way of life.
There is a special bond among military, especially those who serve in times of war. They depend on those around them – for support, for encouragement, for their very lives. Theirs are friendships forged in the heat of battle; friendships that last a lifetime.
When you take a moment to honor our veterans today, take another moment to think about their friends: those who made it and those who didn’t. Because I guarantee that every veteran is thinking of those friends, too.

If you'd like to show your thanks for the men and women serving in the military, please consider making a donation to the Cup of Joe for a Joe program from Green Beans Coffee. They're set up at military bases in Afghanistan and elsewhere, providing free coffee, tea and smoothies to our troops. One cup is a $2.00 donation, and you'll be doing something nice for someone who's risking their life for you every day.

Cup of Joe

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