Musa Authors Memorial Day Blog Hop: Remember the Heroes, Put out your Flag (Please)
1942-45: My dad was staff sergeant, chief of ordnance, 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, United States Army Air Force. Fighting in the Pacific Theater, he was decorated after he saved a bunch of men on a ship when he rolled a live enemy bomb into the ocean, became very ill with yellow fever and dysentery, lost all of his teeth and his sense of smell for the rest of his life.
A few years after WWII, he met my mom, they started having children (I came much later), and he lived a full, colorful life. He didn’t talk about the war much -- the returning soldiers tended not to but went about their lives, probably trying to forget. He did mention one time that it was hard to find work when he was discharged since his job had been given away, and so many other service men found themselves in the same situation.
But his story is practically a fairy tale compared to so many others. The ones who never came home. Or the men and women who’ve fought and sacrificed and are double, triple, even quadruple amputees. (Advances in medical technology have saved lives that wouldn’t have been possible to have been saved just a few years ago, and because of this, we have more multiple amputee veterans than at any other time in our country’s history.)
On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, we put our flag out. It’s a simple gesture; takes about three minutes. It’s a little nod of the head; a tip of the hat. It’s a thank you and a show of respect. An honor that says: We recognize your sacrifice. We appreciate you.
The sad thing is we’re one of the few on our street who do this. It seems to have gone away from the public consciousness. For a country who’s had soldiers fighting overseas for the past 11 years, this seems hard to believe; callous even. What especially aggravates me are the people who put out a little banner for every season but don’t even think about this small honor. (And flags are inexpensive, often given away as promotional items.)
So many haven’t come home; so many will live out the rest of their lives with medical challenges and ailments. Psychological damage.
To the heroes, men and women of the armed forces: We thank you all and remember those who never made it home.
Vampires? Bondage? Sex?
Um, probably not (much).
Margaret Lesh's first novel.
Available in October from Musa Publishing!
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