Our part in Armed Forces Day

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hi neighbors.

Today is Armed Forces Day. America's military is the best in the world and I see no reason to be shy about saying that. I admire all the branches of our military dressed so sharply in so many colors of various dress uniforms marching so proudly in a parade. You go gals and guys!

With so much violence on television and in movies I don't think young folks today realize that war means people get hurt and bleed, and sometimes die. Appreciation of what our military sacrifices on our behalf every day isn't as forthcoming as it should be.

In a world where superheroes can jump and fly and are indestructible, being an average Joe in uniform seems mundane to some.

You might want to explain to your children that facing bombs and people shooting at you when you are simply a human being takes a lot more courage than any displayed by some "superhero" in a movie. Going into battle with normal fear, knowing you might not survive shows a lot more bravery than any mega fight between super men or wonder women.

Today, perhaps more than ever, we need to reinforce in our children an appreciation of the people who do what is expected of them day after day. And I'm not speaking only of military men and women.

Dad may not carry a gun. He may carry a lunch bucket and a bag of tools. He may not face the enemy every day. He may instead face backbreaking work for eight to 10 hours each day to feed his family. He is also a warrior.

His wife who works the night shift so her husband can be home with the children also fights her own battles each day. She, too, is a warrior.

Let your children meet the real heroes of today's world. Armed Forces Day is an ideal time to discuss with your children the facts of survival, honor, bravery and self-confidence; whether on the battlefield or in the work place.

Remind them that our military are not faceless and fearless people carrying guns. Each soldier is some parent's child, some are spouses, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters to those living safely at home.

They don't march into battle to thunderous music and with high spirits. They go somberly and bravely into harms way to protect their loved ones at home; to defend the principles they live their lives by and to stand next to those fighting beside them; with the realization that some of them will not return to home and country.

If you see a person in any branch of America's military; give them a heartfelt "thank you" and shake their hand. If you know a family with a loved one who is now serving in the military, offer to help them in whatever way they need help.

America's military is the best in the world. We need to let them know we are aware of that -- agree with that title -- and honor their service and sacrifice.