9/11/2001...a day we all will never forget...EVER! I was a young military officer back then, still honing the skills of leadership. I had already been military for five years prior to that day, but it changed my service and my thoughts on what it meant to serve our country. Every single one of us was hurt, pissed, and ready to do something about it!
For those of you whom are not military, if you have ever watched the show "Army Wives", it gives a good reflection on the daily lives and struggles of military families, albeit Hollywood style. However, the issues are real and reflected quite well throughout the series. Heck, there are times it makes me wish I still wore the uniform so I could volunteer for things and go back to making a difference. The episode last year with the military funeral really rang out loud in my heart. Then the season finale this past week hit me like it was happening for real, the storyline is done so well.
Perhaps it is the thought that my career ended with unfinished business or the fact I still struggle sometimes with the new identity of being a veteran instead of active duty. Don't get me wrong, I love my life and where I am, but there is always the reflection where you wonder what you could have done differently. I guess that is normal in everyone's life though.
Exactly one year after the attacks, I found myself in Uzbekistan, just mere miles from the Afghanistan border living in a tent and doing what I vowed to do that day, something about it! A friend of mine was part of an aircrew that was flying a mission that day. I gave him an American flag to take with him and he did. That flag represents more to me that just about any of my medals or awards ever received in my 16 1/2 years of service. It is properly displayed within my shadow box to remind me daily of what I have done and where I have been. It reminds me to be grateful and to do something with my life each and every day. I hope I keep that promise to myself, to those no longer able to do so, and to those within my life.
How do you remember and honor those lost?