Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.
Monday is Memorial Day, sadly most people see it as a day away from work when everyone has barbeques and stores have huge sales.
I spent time not only in the military, but in a war zone. I have lost friends, I have friends who have gone back numerous times in the past six years. My father is a Purple Heart recipient and still has shrapnel in his back from Viet Nam. Both of my grandfathers served (one was in the US Army, the other in the Australian Army). I know I have at least one uncle who has served. To me Memorial Day is more than just a day away from work.
This Monday please take a moment and remember all those fallen Service Members. Just as an FYI there have been 4,400 killed in action in Iraq so far and 1,085 in Afghanistan. That isn’t even looking at all the previous wars. And frankly, I do not care if you agree or approve of what is going on in Iraq of Afghanistan, I don’t care if you think we should be over there or not. Please remember that these men and women belong to someone, they are loved by someone, they are our sons and daughters, they are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends. Please take a moment this Memorial Day to show your respect for their sacrifice.
This soldier is someone I proudly served with. He was an incredible guy, he was funny, happy go lucky, just an all around great guy. I hope his family has even the smallest idea of what he meant to those who met him. Please note I said was, SSG Blake Harris died on 15 Mar 07.
NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense No. 299-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 17, 2007 Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132 Public/Industry(703) 428-0711
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died March 15, 2007. in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their unit during combat operations.They were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Killed were: Staff Sergeant Blake M. Harris, 27, of Hampton, Georgia Staff Sergeant Terry W. Prater, 25, of Speedwell, Tennessee Sergeant Emerson N. Brand, 29, of Rigby, Idaho Private First Class James L. Arnold, 21, of Mattawan, Michigan
During my time in Iraq I had to inform a friend who was deployed with me that the man he looked up to, the man he had the utmost respect for had been killed on Christmas Eve. I heard CSM Eric Cooke’s name mentioned so many times and it was always how respected he was; how kind, yet firm he was.