Yesterday I was reminded that there is more to being a councilman than solving the pothole problem and finding funds for the fire department. My first Memorial Day parade found me in a pickup riding down Main St. throwing candy to the kids and waving to friends and supporters. Although many of us prefer to stay out of the spotlight and just attend to the “peoples’ business”, you need to show your face to those who elected you.
Through the course of the day, I had a chance to speak with many veterans, young and old. Although I served in the Marine Corps during peacetime, my daughter Becky is a veteran of the Iraq War and so is her husband. My wife and I am very grateful that Becky returned from Iraq in one piece, although she struggled with PTSD for about 4 years. Today is a day when we remember our fallen comrades, those who stepped up to the plate when we asked them to. We will disagree on the merit of our wars, but we cannot debate the courage of those who go to war for us. I saw a bumper sticker not long ago that read, “honor the warrior, not the war”, and it expresses my sentiment.
With the advances in military technology and medical technology, the number of KIA soldiers decreases with each new war. But the number of wounded soldiers remains high and even grows. On this Memorial Day, let us not just remember those who gave their lives, but let us remember the wounded soldiers and their families. Let’s make sure we continue to fund the VA Healthcare System so that it can attend to all of our returning soldiers.
Semper Fi to all my fellow Marines,