Well it’s almost another Memorial Day. I think many people take Memorial Day too lightly. This is the one holiday during the year that we completely dedicate to those who give a part of their life or all of their life to defend our freedoms or the freedoms of oppressed people in other parts of the world. They take care of things that are of an interest to the security of America.

It is hard for any of us to understand what the young men and women who serve in our country’s military endure when they deploy to foreign soil or set sail out to sea. Many of them leave their loved ones behind to go into uncertainty and perhaps hostile environments. Some of these soldiers are very young, 18 to 20 years of age, and this is their first time to leave home. They are surrounded by more seasoned soldiers but deep down they are still scared and nervous even though they will not show it. They want to pull their own weight and not be a burden to their team. They do not want to disappoint their teammates.

Can you imagine how it would feel to be a part of a forward scout team whose mission is to surveil the enemy and report back on their strengths? In the desert, at night, pitch black, and a chill in the air. You have your night vision gear, radio, weapons, and backpack with a few supplies. You must move to find the enemy yet be quiet so as to not to be discovered. You must be wary of boobie traps, trip wires, and IED’s for any of these could be deadly. You sit down, break out an energy bar and some water for a well-deserved rest and you begin to think of home. You think about how far away you are from home and what time it is now at home and what your loved ones might be doing. You look down at the sand on your boots and then at the sand dunes you must soon cross. Your mind then drifts back to home and your family and you hope all is well. You finish your bar and your water and before you pack up, you bow your head and say a quick prayer to yourself and ask God to keep you safe and keep your family safe. You get up and move out to try and complete your mission in that dark desert thousands of miles from home.

That my friend is service to your country and that scenario is played out many times each night. So as you celebrate this Memorial Day with your friends, families, and loved ones, never ever forget that someone is out there right now serving to protect your freedom and allowing you the ability to have this time together. Thousands have left home and their loved ones and given their lives in wars and conflicts to maintain our way of life. Cherish this, own this, and never forget this, because Freedom is Not Free.