Remember. Respect. Revere.
As I prepare for our Honor Classes offered by Joined Forces Yoga during this Memorial Day weekend, I was inspired to write down names of our men and women who were killed in action during military operations. I placed a name on each yoga mat to be remembered during class knowing each of these names has a story, a mission and must be shared. It is a life taken away too soon that has allowed us to enjoy our freedoms. I know what your thinking… nobody wants to talk about death on Memorial Day. It’s morbid and makes us uncomfortable. I call bullshit.
Remember Them with a Story.
For example, my grandmother (an amazing woman) lived through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Although she did not serve herself, her husband and both of her sons served in the military.
She is buried in the National Cemetery in South Dakota next to her husband. Her story was her thoughtful care packages. She mailed tin coffee cans filled with her famous chocolate fudge to my Uncle Bill serving with 101st Airborne in Vietnam. As her story goes, she hid small bottles of whisky in the fudge. Needless to say, her care packages were well received.
When have you received an unexpected gift? Tell your story.
My sister-in-law volunteered with the development of a website honoring WWII veterans and had the amazing opportunity to meet Staff Sergeant Bill Guarnere. SSG Guarnere was a paratrooper in Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506 Regiment. You may recognize him and his fellow paratroopers as they were featured in several books and the HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers. Wild Bill’s story is one of courage, strength and rebellion. According to military documents, SSG Guarnere was wounded in 1944 and risked being court-martialed to leave the hospital rather than be assigned to a different company. He was allowed to return to Easy Company until he was severely wounded trying to help a wounded friend escape enemy fire. Battle Buddy.
Who in your life has come to your rescue? Tell your story.
Follow Chonda Loder’s example. “At the beginning of yoga tonight, a name was placed at the front of our mats. A name that I would have never known or heard of, but not just any name. Staff Sergeant Louis Cardin, US Marine, was killed in 2016. He left his family and friends at the age of 27. As I turn 27 this year, I can not
even imagine the pain and grief his loved ones have felt.” Loder continues with her Instagram post, “Not just this weekend, but everyday we get to perform our day to day routines is honoring those like Louis. One of his fellow Marines said that Cardin was the one of the battalion to make sure “Everybody got in the bunker.”
We challenge you to take time and learn a name of a service member who has died serving our country.
Remember. Respect. Revere.
General George S. Patton said it best, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
Until next time...