Fred, my friend and a war veteran says, “I chose to fight because I cherished peace for my countrymen.”
My heart goes out to the pain and sacrifices these brave men and women endure. They value life and yet are prepared to die in the service of the country. To protect fellow countrymen they yield their independence.
Fred shares that he loves America so much but spent most of his life in foreign lands far from her shores.
Fred shared about his unlikely encounter with a young and beautiful Asian girl with a bright smile in Vietnam. He was posted there for a long time and had a weathered face, sunken eyes and tough exterior. Their friendship started out slow. From greetings to small talks to sharing lunch together. Fred loved to share his war stories with her and she shared her daily concerns, love and relationship challenges “There was an instant connection between us,” recalls Fred, “She was a bolt from the blue.” Fred helped her navigate through her emotional turmoil.
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When it was time for Fred to relocate with his troop he parted from her with a heavy heart. On the last day he placed in her hands a wind chime he had crafted for her from sea shells as a token of thanks and said, “I don’t have much but I wanted you to know that you have done what many others would not simply by being my friend.” The girl had tears in her eyes when she said her final goodbye.
She wanted him to stay as much as he wanted to take her with him but that’s what a heart of a soldier is trained for, he chooses a higher love over himself.
They live a secluded life detached from their loved ones. The price of freedom is high and these valorous men are ready for it.
Many of us are sleepwalking through life and when occasionally we do open our eyes we despise what we see around us. We sit back and complain about a nation which is at unrest and constantly at war with enemies within and without. How many times have you noticed yourself using should and should nots for the policies of the government and people in general?
Being mindful is the first step towards an integrated and peaceful nation. Memorial Day is to honor and sing the glory of those dauntless heroes who fought to preserve dignity, independence and peace of America.
“It’s easy to get lost in oneself, Bob but we must remember that we are the drops of the ocean and our reality is the ocean.” I couldn’t agree more with him as I had seen the short-lived, falsifying happiness that emerges from the distorted ego identity.
“How can I contribute in building peace in the world, in the country, in the community, in my family and within me is what we need to ponder upon,” said Fred looking in my eyes and I felt a wave of appreciation surge within me. I honor the spirit of patriotism and selflessness in the soldiers. Happy Memorial Day!
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