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Memorial Day: Remembering our Fallen Wingmen

It’s 7:00 pm on a warm and sunny day in Atlanta. It’s Memorial Day, 2007, and like many of you, I had a great time at a barbeque/pool party with some friends. We shared some laughs, good food, and relaxed. Life is good.

As citizens in the U.S. and abroad, it’s easy to forget those who have paid the ultimate price so that we can live free. We go about our lives and reap the benefits of the sweat and sacrifice of others. From the young soldier in the War of Independence, to the fighter pilot over Nazi Germany, to the infantrymen in Iraq, they were the ultimate wingmen who literally gave up their wings so that others could fly. Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to really be thankful for the blessings we have as a result of their service.


But to me, Memorial Day means more than just paying homage to our fallen comrades. It means remembering what they fought for. As a veteran myself, it means doing my part every day to appreciate my freedom. For I believe we honor those who have sacrificed for us by living honorable lives…lives worth fighting for. By demonstrating the attributes of courage, generosity, loyalty, and compassion, we give meaning to their mission.

Memorial Day also means remembering to love and appreciate those who fight for us today – in and out of uniform. From our parents who gave us knowledge, to our friends who give us courage, to our mentors who give us direction…these are the wingmen who give us wings to fly our tough missions in life. Let’s not wait to remember them after they have fallen. Let them know how much you appreciate them today.

BTW – if you’re looking for a unique charity in honor of our troops, check out www.fisherhouse.org. Fisher House has made support to service men and women hospitalized as a result of their service in Iraq or Afghanistan, and their families, its highest priority.

Remember, wingman is a state of mind, not a job title. It’s a disciplined, determined, and passionate approach towards living your life every day. Each day, set some time aside to ‘remember.’ Then, do something to give hope, courage, or strength to someone who needs it. This is how we can truly pay homage to those who have given us so much.

Wishing you peace from the inside out…


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