I’ve always found it off-putting when someone says “Happy Memorial Day”; I know that they have the best of intentions, but it seems to me that a day of remembrance is not exactly a gala affair.
The first indication when I began posting that there might be something else to this endeavour besides a narcissistic dog was when I received a PM at 0230 from a vet, “your post just helped me through a PTSD episode” and I realized that there was a another layer to my mission. This is when the “no dog left behind” motto was coined, and I’ve always felt that there was an unexplained connection between my story and that of our serviceman.
Obviously, I’ve never been in the military, and certainly never been deployed, but a can relate on a very small level; when we come in off of a long trip, there is always a certain disjointed feeling, like “now what?”.
After the camaraderie and shared trials of the road, life at home can seem a bit claustrophobic; even though we can tell the stories and share the pictures, unless you shared the experiences first hand, it’s hard to feel reconnected.
I’ve always wanted to use my story to support our servicemen in some way, whether it be with raising funds for service dogs to return with their handlers or training dogs to alert to an impending PTSD episode, and still feel like something else is still “out there”, a need just waiting to present itself. “Service every need as it arises and you will find your ministry”.
Don’t get me wrong, I AM the Charlie Bravo, and I have no intention of moping around the house on this day of remembrance; dad and I are taking the motorcycle out to the Ouachita mountains for another adventure and who knows where that will lead. But no matter where we go or what we do, the memory of those that fell at Khe San, the Chosin, the Bulge, Normandy, Iwo Jima, Baghdad, or a million other hallowed pieces of scorched earth will never be far from our thoughts.
Semper Fidelis, James Russell Street and James Robert Hauss; we will never forget.