Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day to Remember

It's Memorial Day. A day where many will fire up the grill, spend time with family, and get a day off work. It's also the day where hopefully every person in this country will remember why they get to have a day off work, fire up the grill, and spend time with their families.

I'm not someone who has lost family members due to serving in the military. I mean, I'm sure that somewhere back down my family tree there I have some heroes I'm not aware of that gave their life fighting in some war or another, I'm just not aware of any. That doesn't mean I don't have to remember to thank those that have fought or continue to fight every day for their country.

I do remember that I almost became a member of the military. Well, take that with a grain of salt... I thought very seriously about it, and inquired a lot about it. I remember 12 years ago I walked in to a recruiting office for the Navy. I was only 17, but I was starting to think about what I wanted to do with my life after high school. I had discussed the military with friends - several of them had their plans in order. Future Marines, Army, and Navy...and I was interested in following that life path. It was probably the only time in my life where I doubted wanting to become a teacher. But, times were very hard for me then. I had left home, I was confused, I was scared. I didn't know what I was going to do once I was out of high school. To a young, naive school girl - the Navy offered shelter, security, and a future.

I met with a recruiter. He took all of my measurements, gave me a bunch of pamphlets, and told me what I would need to do in the next few months to sign up - one of those things being to lose 7lbs. I was 7lbs over the weight limit for bootcamp. That seems funny, now. Only 7lbs overweight to join the Navy...boy would I love to be that weight again! I even signed up for some training with a recruiter so that he could help me muscle up and lose the weight.

A week later, I found out I was pregnant with Peanut. So, there went my thoughts about being in the Navy. Although, I wonder many times what would have happened if Peanut hadn't of come along at that moment. Would I have gone through with it? Would I have enlisted? All the could-a, would-a, should-as that come in to play. Not that I regret how my life turned out....I wouldn't change a single thing that's happened in my life. Every little step has gotten me to where I am now, and I'm very happy with how my life has turned out thus far.

But it's memories like this one that makes me really think about the military personnel that fight each and every day. They leave their families for months, sometimes years at a time. Mothers have to leave their kids, fathers have to miss the birth of their children, parents have to go for weeks wondering where their child is and whether he/she is still alive. The sacrifices that members of the military make - just to help protect the country that we live in. It's a lot.

Regardless of political, religious, or personal beliefs - the men and women that serve in the military should be honored, loved, and respected.

Today, I won't be having a BBQ. I was lucky enough to do that yesterday. I'm also lucky enough to be with my family each and every day. Something I often don't think about quite enough - and be thankful for near as often as I should. And that's how I'm going to show my thanks today - and remember. I'm going to enjoy time with my family, I'm going to tell them about the importance of Memorial Day, and I'm going to instill values in my children to respect anyone who gives up their freedom in order to protect the freedom of this country. It's not much - but it's something.

I'm also going to remember the day where I was only 7lbs away from meeting the Navy enlistment weight. I'm ten times that number away now - but I can start making some changes. While joining the Navy is no longer on my to-do list, becoming fit and healthier is...and it starts with small changes.

Have a great Memorial Day, everyone. And take just a second to remember why we have this holiday.

Till next time. ;)

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