I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who has served in the armed forces, or waited patiently, sometimes forever, for a loved one to come home, for your sacrifices.

As I have gotten older, and finally retired from active duty with the USMC, Memorial Day has meant more and more to me. Perhaps it is because I am no longer as busy doing, but have a bit more time to reflect on things.

I know for a fact the hardest thing I had to do before I left for Desert Storm was not stealing my pistol from the armory (Sorry SSgt, I know I made your life hell that day!) to go to Iraq, but instead having to tell my mother I was leaving and wouldn’t come home from Okinawa before I left.

Now that I am a parent I realize that I was just to young to understand everything that I was about to get into was at least as scary for my parents, if not more so, than it was for me. I at least understood what I was doing while they could only guess. So this Memorial Day I want to extend my special thanks to those parents whose children leave to fight for our freedoms. Yours is a special sacrifice.

God bless you all and this great nation.