Memorial Day 2022 Reflection
My son Matt enlisted shortly after his 18th birthday in his senior year of high school. His father served with the US Special Forces (Airborne/Ranger) and completed 3 combat tours in Vietnam. Matt was drawn to serve for a host of reasons, the 9/11 attacks became a tipping point. Matt's battalion was part of the invasion force for the Iraq War and he was deeply affected by his experiences in combat. I remember when he walked into the gym at Fort Bragg in January of 2004. I could see that he carried the weight of war on his young shoulders. He'd turned 20 while he was in Iraq. Matt was killed 4 months after his return from Iraq.
I never considered myself to be part of a military family technically, because the men in my family answered the call of the country, went to war and came back speaking rarely of their experiences. My Dad served in the China Burma India campaign in WWII, his father went to the trenches of France in WWI. My brother, my cousin, my uncle, all served Recently I learned I have a great, great, great grandfather who served in the American Revolutionary war, who took up arms along with his father. They both fought at the battle of Saratoga, his father did not survive.
So I've come to realize, late in my life, how much our nation has asked of my family over many, many years.
Memorial Day now holds tremendous meaning for me and I am grateful the nation has dedicated a day for Remembrance. I'm especially grateful to the National Veterans Art Museum for all that it accomplishes. Thanks to NVAM, we who cherish our nation's values and the promise of our Constitution can learn from, heal from, grow from-- the insight, the sacrifice, the inspiration and deep wisdom embedded in the Veterans' artwork.
Thank you NVAM for helping me to remember, and honor those who served our country and are no longer with us.
Gold Star Mother
NVAM Board Member