On Memorial Day weekend 2007, I thought I'd take some time away from people skills tips and career advice to recognize a very special group of people, our military men and women.
Memorial Day now seems to be the focus of vacationers, over-stressed workaholics, and sale-seeking shoppers. In spite of a long-lasting war and daily reports from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, most of us here in the states go about our business with little REAL reflection on the men and women fighting this war. Like it or not, it's part of our reality and these folks deserve our thoughts and prayers. Memorial Day recognizes those who have fallen. Let's take some time this weekend to think about those who have lost loved ones in battle and for those troops in the field or poised to deploy. Here are some suggestions:
1. Visit wounded troops. If you live near a military hospital, take some time to visit. Many of the men and women recuperating are doing so far from home. I'm sure they would welcome some company.
2. Give blood. The Red Cross is constantly hounding me to give blood. I'm sure they would appreciate yours. Why not visit a military hospital and donate your pint of blood there?
3. Write letters. Our troops in the field can never get enough contact from people back home. During my Naval career, particularly while serving in isolated duty, hearing news from home was great!
4. Help out the family of someone who is deployed. Most families get initial support when their active duty or reserve spouse leaves. Things quiet down after the first month or so and yet many tours are now over a year. Offer to cook, watch the kids, cut the grass, etc.
5. Pray for our troops. If that bothers you, get over it! It's not going to kill you to say a prayer even if you wrestle with the concept of God. Body armor can protect to a point, prayer can protect all the way.
I'm not suggesting we stop our plans for this weekend. By all means have some fun and unwind. Please take some time though to realize the true meaning of Memorial Day. Think about the reason for THIS season. Thank a veteran, thank their families.
Not telling you what to do, just offering you a suggestion!