Happy Memorial Day!

To American friends and family, may your celebrations today recall the service and sacrifice of fallen heroes, present soldiers, and the veterans who have given so much for freedom. As a mom of a US veteran, I am so grateful today that I can speak to him in person rather than visit a cemetery. Blessings and heart-felt compassion for those parents who are not so fortunate.

I am visiting Williamsburg, VA, this week, and there is no more powerful reminder of the struggle to begin this country than experiencing that era in this place. May we always be free, and may we always appreciate and honor those who gave us that gift with their blood, sweat, and tears. And may we always deserve this heritage of freedom and liberty.

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Five years in the army: congratulations to my son!

This is a very personal post. All my posts are personal to some degree…after all, it is my blog, so I get a lot of say in what is said. But this is not about me. It is about my son, Alex. Alex, who, marching to his own drummer, declined our offers and our pleadings to go to college after high school, and determined for himself that he wanted to join the army, is getting out of the army today. September 30 is his last day. He has served five years and a few weeks. He spent 13 months in Iraq with an infantry unit. He has done his share, he served his time, has his honorable discharge.

I am proud of him. I’m relieved that he will be in civilian life again, but anxious that he is coming out at a difficult time for the US economy in general, and veterans in particular, if news reports are to be believed. But most of all I am happy that he survived his enlistment and is ready to make a new life for himself, to create a new plan.

I don’t know what his next choices will be. I’m still hoping he’ll decide to invest in education, but that will be up to him at this point. Whatever he chooses, I know that he will have a different point of view than many people his age. He’s seen some difficult things, seen friends die, lived in extreme circumstances. So have a lot of other people. There are many men and women who deserve our thanks and our support for voluntarily serving in the armed forces. And I do appreciate all of them. But today, I’m focused on just one.

Welcome back to civilian life, Alex. Thanks for doing your part for the rest of us.