His favorite method of torture: imitating a Sleestak from “Land of the Lost.” For as jerky as he was to me back then, he turned out OK…actually more than OK. He turned out to be a hero.
Not because he’s a doctor (which he is), but because he demonstrated incredible courage by serving our country as a member of our Armed Forces. He was an Army physician and Captain for the 4th Infantry Division in Iraq at a time when the fighting was most intense. His letters home conveyed the seriousness of his mission, but he was careful to not go into detail about his day-to-day experiences…things he didn’t want my family to think about…things he wishes he could forget, but I’m sure never will.
One thing none of us should ever forget is the sacrifice our brave servicemen and women have made and continue to make for all of us. On Saturday, May 18, we’ll celebrate Armed Forces Day. This is a great opportunity to pay tribute to the unparalleled service of our Armed Forces and recall the extraordinary feats they accomplish in defense of our nation.
Here are just a few ideas of how you can celebrate and recognize the service of our country’s patriots and heroes:
Send a letter – Put a smile on a soldier’s face by sending them an e-card. Go to http://www.militaryecards.com/ to get started.
Send a care package – Show your support by sponsoring a care package to the troops. OurMilitary.mil provides a list of organizations that can help the general public send care packages. Popular care package items include toiletries, phone cards and sunscreen.
Donate blood – Donate blood to the soldiers by contacting the American Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-BLOOD.
Look for a parade – Check your local newspaper for a parade in your area honoring soldiers for Armed Forces Day.
Display a flag – Show your patriotism by proudly flying an Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or American flag.
Volunteer- Take the time to reflect on those who are serving our country. Find out how you can volunteer by visiting www.serve.gov.
I’m fortunate my brother returned home safely from Iraq and I have the opportunity to thank him for his service, although I’ll admit I don’t do it nearly as often as I should. So let me close by saying, “Thank you for your service, Phil, and for putting our safety before your own. Love you!”
If you’d like to share a thank you to a service member in your life, please add a comment. Or, if you have an additional suggestion on how we all can celebrate Armed Forces Day, please share that, too.
Thank you and Happy Armed Forces Day!