This Memorial Day weekend there were thousands of parades, picnics and remembrance events for those who died fighting for the United States.
There were also sales and bargains for those that choose to spend the holiday traveling or shopping.
Like all holidays, Memorial Day is sometimes at risk of losing its meaning in our commercial society, as shoppers and travelers forget about the sacrifices our troops and their families make.
So here’s a gentle reminder after we all enjoyed time off from work and got our fill of backyard barbeques.
As you read this, hundreds and thousands of men and women in uniform, and millions of family members sacrifice comfort, treasure and freedoms so that the rest of us can be free. While we enjoy picnics, they are at war.
Really at war: right now, today, this very minute.
And our service members make sacrifices not just for Americans but also for people around the world, most of whom will never appreciate what they have done for them.
Service members like Petty Officers Peter Cully and Matthew Plungis, shipmates who I know personally, go on deployment, come home, find a job, only to go on deployment again. Say thanks to them by clicking on their link and posting to Facebook.
Families like the Lauren Schaffer family, in Colorado Springs, endure deployments every year it seems.
Children grow up, raised mostly by mommy or daddy or grandma, while one or both parents fight in a war.
Given the strain we put on our service members, it’s not surprising that some of those who serve in the military come back home only to face desperate financial need.
After this weekend, then, it is only fitting that we recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms. But we should also remember to help those living soldiers, sailors and airmen who continue to sacrifice to protect our freedoms.
USA Cares can help us do just that.
USA Cares is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that helps post-9/11 military families bear the burdens of service with financial and advocacy support. Its mission is to help with basic needs during financial crises, to assist combat injured Veterans and their families and to prevent private military home foreclosures and evictions.