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The Social Media Contributor Comments: May 2013



Being Grateful for Memorial Day 2013

-By SFC Andre V. Milteer, USA (Ret.)

Memorial Day, Monday – May 27th – a day for BBQ, friends, and family. A day off; a day to look forward to for relaxation. Many Americans will see the Monday in like manner. Cool…I saw Memorial Day as laid-back day as well. Until . . .

I served in the Army band(s) for almost all of my young adulthood. While serving on active-duty, I often worked as a Soldier-Musician or an Enlisted bandleader during each and every annual Memorial Day. Oftentimes, the gigs were at V.A. hospitals, cemeteries, or patriotic townships across the state(s). Honestly, I rather dreaded Memorial day for that same said reason.
My Conscious Shift
After leaving the military in ’97, I assimilated back into civilian life. Throwing myself into a new career, new friends, and getting a corporate gray makeover, I put my [military] former life behind me – or, so I thought.
Moving forward, more and more, I began to notice that ‘The Military’ couldn’t be washed off like shampoo rinsing from wet hair. It’s always there – in the background – without being noticed. Other [civilian] professionals would approach me and say, “R U former military?”
Before long, I started to see what they saw. that MILITARY – aka leadership was WHAT they all saw. All former military folk have it, whether we realize it or not.
The Reality of Memorial Day
Memorial day is about honor. Those that have given more than some; those that gave all. The fact is that most Medal of Honor [MOH] recipients were awarded their medals posthumously [after death]. Not to be a source of confusion, though, is that the majority of Combat Veterans KIA did not receive the MOH. Note: KIA is a military acronym meaning Killed in Action.
Several years ago, I visited a traveling exhibit with a stopover @Fort Hood, Texas. The exhibit was a graphic multimedia production depicting Arlington National Cemetery. Gardens of Stone is the pseudo- reference uttered by many. Veterans of many wars; WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, etc., etc. can be found – permanently entombed on those hallowed grounds.
In memorial, the U.S. Army Public Affairs, Arlington National Cemetery [unauthorized] multimedia slideshow is posted below. Tip your hat, bow your head, and remain silent as you view their YouTube video . . .

Click on picture to view video!


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