Memorial Day

As I sit and contemplate Memorial Day I am reminded of how much my family has given to insure the freedoms that I currently enjoy. From the very first Testerman who came here in 1774, to the Hammonds, Finchers and Kemps who were here before that. To all of the ones that came after them that served in the military of this country to ensure that the freedoms of all Americans were intact and kept sacred.
There are so many of my family in just the last century that served I can’t even name them all, from my uncles, J.H., Walter, Albert, Laverne, and Wayne, to my cousins, Patrick, Albert, Larry to just name a few, I know there were tons of them! I have second cousins that went on to serve, adding women to the mix, Amy for example. I am so proud of them and the hardships they endured to ensure that I could enjoy my freedoms. I wish I could pay tribute to them all, my adopted brothers Jesse and Jim; I have a “real” brother that served as well. Currently I have a nephew still serving this country, and probably more second and third cousins I don’t even know about serving.
It is a long tradition in my family to give back, to make a difference, to stand up for the ones that cannot stand for themselves. I didn’t join the military, although my dad told me I would make a good drill sergeant, I do however try in my way to stand up for people that cannot, for whatever reason, find their voice to stand up for themselves. I was a Union Steward until I saw things that certain stewards were doing that were not ethical, and after voicing my displeasure at their behavior was told they do it because they can, I quit. However, I still continue to stand up for people, giving advise where I can. I cannot be a voice for them, but I can steer them in the right direction.
I fight where I can, I cannot compare, however to the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. Every day they go out and fight, protect and honor our way of life. I am proud to be an American, to stand tall in the high ideals of what we should be doing. I salute all of my family on the upcoming American holiday of paying tribute to our fallen soldiers and the ones that served and continue to serve.

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