Memorial Day vs. Veterans Day

Memorial Day is this Monday, May 27th, 2019.  By definition, it is a day to honor those who have died in active military service.

Veterans Day (November 11th) is the day that we honor military veterans, those who have served in the military.

But whether Memorial Day or Veterans Day, I would like to suggest that it is also a day to honor military families.

I married into a military family. Before I met my husband, I didn’t understand the unique struggles and structure of this type of family.

My father-in-law, Dick, was a bomber pilot during the Korean War. I learned that Rick’s Mom, Fran, saw him off, mission after mission, not knowing if he would make it back home. We have pictures of her waving good-bye to him as left for assignments, with Rick, as a 2-year-old clinging to her legs.

I learned that Rick, at the age of 4, remembers hearing sirens going off in the middle of the night, when they were stationed in Japan, and having to run and jump into foxholes for safety.

While Rick loved the travel he experienced as a child, he admits it made it hard for him to make friends because he knew he probably wouldn’t be staying in the same place for very long.

I learned that Rick’s family moved so many times, because of Dick’s assignments, that his brother Rob, went to a new school every year of his High School career.

There are so many stories like this I could share.

Rick’s family was fortunate in that his father served in several wars, and came home.

Not everyone was as fortunate.

It’s common to express our appreciation to military men and women who are serving or have served in the military. But the next time you thank a soldier, if his family is present, thank them too if you haven’t already thought of that. I guarantee you they will be thankful for your recognition

Daddy leaving on assignment.
Rick waiting for Daddy to come home from an assignment. He is wearing a military uniform that his dad had made for him
out of one of his own uniforms.
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Comments (6)

  1. Steph Barry

    Great reminder. Those active military families are doing their part and face daily sacrifices too. Boy do I see Owen’s face in the bottom picture of your husband!

    May 24, 2019 at 4:08 pm
    • Karen

      I know you are very aware of this, Steph. Thank you. Yes, I do see Owen in Rick’s baby pictures. I noticed that yesterday myself! Glad it’s not just me!

      May 25, 2019 at 6:15 am
  2. Danesa

    Oh ny goodness, what precious photos! Thank you for remembering the families! Happy Memorial Day and may we all take time to honor all of our heroes who gave their all.

    May 25, 2019 at 1:57 am
  3. Deb Case

    We live in a city with many military families, and we see what they all go through to have loved ones leaving and returning. You are so right to suggest that we all appreciate the sacrifices made by both those serving our country and their families and loved ones. Thank you.

    May 25, 2019 at 6:36 pm
    • Karen

      Thank you, Deb, for your comment.

      May 26, 2019 at 5:45 am
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