Growing up as a “military brat”, the armed forces have always played an important role in my life. My father, a retired USAF Colonel, held his position in such high regard and admired the countless military personnel that he encountered throughout his many years of service that he named me “Troup” (yes, that’s my legal birth name)! As a son, I admire his love, wisdom and support. As an American, I value his bravery, courage and service to our great country.
This Memorial Day, as always, we take the time to remember all who have bravely served our nation. It’s quite simple: FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. We should recognize and appreciate that the very freedoms we enjoy (and sometimes take for granted) are due in large measure to the military men and women who have fought for and fearlessly defended our freedom throughout history.
This year, we have further reason to celebrate as it’s our first Memorial Day post-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal. As of last September, the military’s DADT policy was lifted and LGBT Soliders are now free to serve their country openly. This shift in the US Armed Forces echoes a larger cultural shift at hand – acceptance. If the sky didn’t fall when DADT was repealed, imagine what will come (or not come) next in the fight for equality.
Everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, can now freely serve in the military, but on a larger scale, what does the word “freedom” truly represent? As Americans, we are free because of the bravery of US Servicemen and women, like my father and brother, who have devoted themselves to protecting that very value. As citizens of the world, we know that freedom does not come without a price. Many have fallen. Loved ones have been lost. Sacrifices have been made. Without loss, there is no gain, without war, no peace and so on.
We should recognize Memorial Day for more than it being a “three day weekend”, the official start to summer, etc. It is a day to truly take a moment to recognize the sacrifices that our military men and women – active, retired, or on reserve – have made for the safety and liberty of the citizens of the United States.
This weekend, and every day for that matter, find a way thank a Military member – perhaps a family member, a colleague, a neighbor. Even if you’re just passing by a stranger in fatigues at the airport or if you notice that you’re friends with a Solider on Facebook, tell them you appreciate them and their service to our country.
From all of us at Troup Consulting, to all Armed Forces Veterans – young and old, fallen or alive, of past and present… we salute you.
And there it is.