Honoring Memorial Day 2014


unnamedMemorial days always make me focus my thoughts on my Grandfather.  He passed last year, and there hasn’t been a day when he’s been too far from my thoughts.  He was a Naval officer — a somewhat James Dean / Jack Palance rogue who served in the Korean and Pacific Wars (I think I spoke at length about him last year).

Special days like today, I think about how he frequented the VA, and kept in touch with various people he served with.  I also think about VA’s today, and the variations in age of people who are there.  I think of the times I’m at the airport when planes come in, and there’s large groups of people standing around clapping as uniformed soldiers walk off the jet bridge.

240px-Graves_at_Arlington_on_Memorial_DayI think of the people who have soldiers across oceans, and my heart hurts for those friends and families who have lost sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, moms and dads, cousins, grandfolks, and other loved ones.  I think of the pride I hear when a retired soldier speaks of his or her brotherhood or sisterhood — the military family.  I think of these people, and I’m thankful for what they have signed up for, and what they would do for our country.

On this Memorial Day, I am rocking my Grandpa’s beloved Navy ball cap (complete with war memorial pins he had collected), and I’m wearing a loved one’s army sweatshirt.  They may not be with me physically, but they (and many, many others) are in my heart, and I am thankful.


To our soldiers, past, present, and future: THANK YOU.
To the families of our soldiers, and friends and networks supporting our soldiers: Thank You.

Happy Memorial Day!

Izzy Neis
Director of Engagement & Strategy