Monday, May 30, 2011
That first guy you see saluting? That's my great friend Chris. He was the first friend I made after graduating boot camp.
Chris had an infectious personality. He was always happy. He was always singing the most ridiculous songs. He loved Chinese food and Family Guy. He had to teach every new friend the Penguin Dance.
My sister helped me drive my truck up to Boston and then stayed for a few days to visit. My blood sugar dropped when I went back to work that first morning, and Medical confined me to my room for the rest of the weekend. Chris didn't want my sister to be stuck in the room all weekend, so he took her out for ice cream.
That picture up there was taken on Memorial Day 2008. That was the last time any of us saw Chris alive. He died about an hour after that picture was taken. He had been out of boot camp for about 6 months.
This is how his family spends Memorial Day each year.
No parades. No cookouts. No fireworks. Just a flag, some flowers, and a very heart breaking salute to a very cold headstone.
There is no "Happy" in their Memorial Day. Just as there is no "happy" in it for thousands of other families across America. Please remember to take a few moments out of your celebrating to think of these families and say a prayer for them.