As most of you know, I am the daughter of a Vietnam veteran. The image above holds a special place in my photo album simply because of that. I've never been to the wall, but I intend to go at some point.
When I was growing up, Memorial Day was always about the parade in our small town, visiting my relatives' graves, and cooking out at home. My dad was never big on celebrating the true reason for Memorial Day...and I now know why.
However, we are coming up on the anniversary of my loss and I sit here looking at this picture thinking, "But for the grace of the gods..."
See, if my dad's name would have been on that wall, I wouldn't have been born. He often would talk about his time in Vietnam and how he wished he had stayed, fought, and died for his country, then the PTSD wouldn't have destroyed his life the way that it did. It used to make me cry because if he had done those things, I wouldn't be here and I sure as hell wouldn't be the woman I am today for walking on his journey with him.
He was an amazing man and he was my hero (though I can hear him telling me, "Girl, I ain't nobody's hero"). He sacrificed his mind, body, and soul for this country. He may have come home physically whole, but mentally, he would never be the man he was if he hadn't seen and done the things he did.
So, today please remember that All Gave Some and Some Gave All. We are free because of the men and women who have put their lives on the line. We are able to BBQ and spend time with our families because these people have given up time with theirs.