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Service is the Real Reason for Memorial Day

Hey, are you barbequing for Memorial Day?  Possibly starting that summer garden or even doing some extra online shopping for Memorial Day sales.  Those all sound like great American habits.  All of these various options miss one important reason for this four-day weekend-the men and women who brought it to us.  Yep, this holiday is about our incredible American veterans.  Those people that stormed Normandy, fought in the Vietnam jungles, faced unbearable heat in the Dessert Storm days and currently are saving America by working the Covid-19 pandemic.  The focus has been shifted to a free day off of work and hardcore sales shopping while worrying about the ribs being on the grill too long.  Let’s refocus on what we really need to do, honor our active and veteran armed forces members.  

Currently, members of the armed forces, are part of our Covid-19 frontline by the tens of thousands.  These great men and women are staffing Covid-19 testing sites, building makeshift hospitals all the while contracting this deadly virus  The Army Reserves and National Guard are being denied their benefits due to a stop-work order.  Let’s call all of our political leaders from local alderman and state representatives to Capitol Hill and demand the work order be extended so these wonderful frontline workers receive their due.  It’s as easy as clicking this link, https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials, to ensure Memorial Day isn’t just about the grill. 

If we are truly thankful for our freedom than a moment of silence is pandering.  Let’s take action for our active duty and veterans.  America has a burgeoning homeless population. Unfortunately, on any given night 39,471 people sleeping on our free streets are veterans.  It’s time we donate our time and efforts for these vets.  Join the local food pantry, call your elected officials to discuss your disgust with this situation and/or get your local organization involved in fighting this “American disease”.  Donations, education, and involvement are available at https://www.leavenoveteranbehind.org/.

Vincent Urban was a great father, grandfather, and all-around good guy.  He was a World War II veteran that remained scarred for most of his 67 years on this earth.  Like many other veterans he never discussed what he saw on D-Day or any other military history he had.  Nearly, 45 years after being shot he developed health issues from shrapnel in his foot.  This would eventually turn into cancer. This great man was my grandfather.  I remember the struggle he and my family had with Vet services for his health issues, lack of testing coverage, and his aggravation with sitting for hours to be seen at the VA.  Some of the risks he and thousands of others made in a world war probably couldn’t be avoided at that time due to rudimentary technology.  But they can now.  There are several bills on the “Congressional table” that can help active military members to avoid risk.   Yes, this is another way you can help by calling your Congressional representatives and Senators.  We need for H.R. 4477 to be quickly moved into the Senate for a passing vote.  

There are myriad ways of remembering our veterans by donating our time and money.  Try volunteering at the USO by taking one day a month to help our active duty and veterans.  Swiping to donate at DAV is as easy as buying that new outfit online.  Be as careful about the time and energy you spend on barbequing and gardening as you do for our Armed Forces members.  Without them, we wouldn’t remain free.  Stay safe and healthy America!

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