Today is the day we honor our men and women in military service. It is also the "official" first day of summer.
How do you celebrate?
When I was in the Navy, depending on where I was stationed, I worked. Either I had duty (which means you are on call 24 hours, stand a watch for 4-8 hours and/or work at your job), or I had the day off.
I never was home for Memorial Day. I saved my leave time for other times.
This Memorial Day, I'd like to honor my Dad. He is still with us, and I love him dearly. My Dad served as a Master Chief Personnelman for 23 years. I was a little kid, jokingly referred to as a Navy brat. Still am. I am the oldest of five and I really believe I'm my Dad's favorite (even though my siblings would disagree). After high school and some college, I followed in my Dad's footsteps. I wanted to experience some of the same things he did. I wanted to travel and see the world (and get college paid for). I fondly remember slides (my parents were slide people) of Hong Kong and other places. How exotic! We would always look forward to the things our Dad would bring us back. Funny, but I don't remember most of them. But, I do remember a funny can of Coca Cola from Japan. I think every foreign port I visited, I looked in the grocery stores for my funny can of Coke.
My Mom was even in the Navy for a little while. Her brother and her Dad (and most of his brothers) were in the Navy too. Grandpa was a Navy Frog Man. They were at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked.
So, back to Memorial Day, this is the day I reflect on my family's history and am grateful that we all served and came home to our families. I think of the shipmates that did not.
So, when you are chowing down on that BBQ today, at 3:00 pm, please think of those men and women in service and say "thank you". It really means a lot to us and our families.