For many years, Memorial Day was just another excuse to relax and enjoy the fact that I didn’t have to work.  But for the past few years, I have started to realize that it isn’t just a chance to save money on mattresses or get the best deal on a new vehicle. It’s about thanking our military men and women for their contributions.

My father has always been a simple, humble man.  Growing up, I knew (obviously) that he was in the military, but it wasn’t something we really talked about  – probably because I didn’t ask as many questions about his years of service to this country as I could (and should) have. I was young, and I just knew that we moved around a lot and that dad went to work fighting bad guys.  But when he got home, all was normal again.   He would talk to us about our day, and the topic of what he did at work rarely came up.  Looking back on it now, I assume it was my father’s way of keeping everything as normal as possible.

Dad is a retired Marine, this much I do know – in fact, I can remember being confused about it growing up, and I once asked dad what he did in the Army.  That was not exactly the smartest slip up on my part, and dad quickly snapped back “a Marine, son!  MARINE!” I was also “schooled” about not calling him a FORMER marine – retired was a more preferred term.

He told me he was a Master Gunnery Sgt.  I had NO clue what that meant.  But it turns out it’s VERY high up the structural ladder of the Marine Corps. I won’t attempt to explain it in this blog post, out of fear I will butcher the description and bring disgrace to this family 🙂

Dad’s service to this country is something none of us can ever truly repay him for.  But in my own way, I try to make him proud by doing what I can to support other military families.

Dad, thank you for all the sacrifices that you made so your children – and all Americans – could grow up in a country free of the many atrocities that plague other countries.  And thank you for playing a major role in raising me well.

You have 4 happy, healthy kids who appreciate you everyday.

To all of our military service members, have a Happy Memorial Day this Monday :)!