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Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day, 2016

Serving

Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave.”
Muhammad

Every Memorial Day, I struggle with knowing what to write about our warrior tribe. I love and support them, and at the same time, I want to protect and shield them from further harm. I can't imagine what it's like for our military to be at continuous war for more than fifteen years—how that scars their bodies and souls. I also can't imagine what it's like to come home, having risked life and limb, and see people fixated on social media, fashion, and who's got the hottest car.

I remember a run-up to Christmas in the 1970's, when I was directing a program for children with severe disabilities. Some of the children in our program were from wealthy families, and some were from very poor families. I was trying to raise the money for toys, gifts and essential items for those families who simply could not provide them. My boyfriend, at the time, was interviewing for medical residency positions in the Northeast—Boston and New York. While he was in New York, a friend of his rented Delmonico's, a very exclusive restaurant, for the evening. Three people ate and drank $4,000.00 worth of food and alcohol. I was so angry, I exploded at him on the telephone. I imagine, sometimes, that's how our vets feel when they come home from war and find the people they served glued to their cell phones, and their leaders talking trash on Twitter.

To finish that Christmas story: I contacted Toys-for-Tots, and a group of retired Marines brought a truck load of toys for our kids. Service doesn't end when they walk off the battlefield. Our service to them should not either.

                                                      In the Spirit,
                                                           Jane



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