Which Veterans Would You Like to Thank?

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. For many, this simply means an opportunity to take the day off, relaxing with family and friends. But there’s more to it than that.


Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/Malven

Memorial Day is a day we set aside to commemorate those veterans who have died in the service of our country. It was first enacted to honor those in the Union Army who died in the American Civil War. After the first World War, it was expanded to include American casualties of any war or military action.

I have never had the privilege of serving in the military. However, I am profoundly grateful for those who have.

In the U.S., I fear we have come to take our national security for granted. The tragic events of 9/11 were a wake-up call. The fact we have not had another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil is a testimony to the brave men and women who work tirelessly to protect our freedoms both here and around the world.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank a few of my family members who have served in the military. Not all of these were injured or killed in the line of duty, but all served with honor and distinction:

  • My Dad, Robert T. Hyatt, who served as a Marine in the Korean War. He was critically injured when a piece of shrapnel hit him in the head and nearly killed him. He received the Purple Heart. Amazingly, He was just eighteen-years-old when it happened. (He enlisted when he was seventeen.)
  • My father-in-law, Col. Sidney C. Bruce (deceased), who had a distinguished career in the Air Force. He served in both the European and Pacific theaters and then went on to serve in the Pentagon as the Secretary to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • My brother-in-law, Col. Philip W. Bruce (deceased), who also had a distinguished career in the Air Force. He graduated from the Air Force Academy. He then served in Vietnam and eventually became a highly-honored instructor at the Test Pilot School.

There are scores of others, including many, many friends who have served in the military. I am eternally grateful for their service and want to take this opportunity to honor them on this special day.

Question: Who would you like to thank? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    I would like to thank:

    My father, William Hylton, who quit high school at age 17 and fought in WWII. He later earned his GED and became an avaition electrician. He pushed all five of his kids to complete college (we all did).

    My husband, Merlyn Zell, who fough in the Korean War.

    My sister, Sue Griffith; her husband, Rick Griffith (deceased);and her son, Robert Hylton, all of who served in the Navy.

    Two of my brothers, Timothy Hylton and David Hylton (deceased), who served with the Coast Guard.

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

    All my & my wife’s grandfathers served in WWII. And at least 2 of them received a purple heart.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’d like to thank

    1.  My father for serving in WW2. It was many years ago but I know he gave up quite a bit to serve.

    2. Billy Redersdorf, Matt Givens, Nathan Buck, Megan Smith, Aaron Allers, Chris Eaton, Kyle Reiger and the many other students from our youth group that have signed up to serve and are serving our country.

  • BillintheBlank

    So many to thank. My Dad. His Dad. My Dad’s friend who fell on the grendade in boot camp — a sacrifice that allowed me to eventually come into existence. A former student of mine who was almost lost — a miracle in progress. My post today tells his ongoing miraculous story of revovery http://wp.me/p2ebdV-di .

    My father-in-law disabled in Vietnam. He’ll be here at the house any minute.

    Freedom isn’t free.

  • Armywifewrites@blogspot.com

    Thank you for your post on this Memorial Day. My husband is in the military and we are currently stationed in Italy and we just lost a soldier in the unit. Such a loss really grounded the reality of this holiday and the sacrifice our men and women give for freedom. Thanks again!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Thank you for your family’s sacrifice for my family’s freedom.

  • http://profiles.google.com/susanwbailey Susan Bailey

    My dad, Herbert Hoyle who served in WWII in the air force. 

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com/ Chris Jeub

    I attended a retirement of an Air Force Colonel last week on Thursday. What an awesome event. This particular officer had eight children, a solid rock of a man, making the honoring of his 27 years of service all the more admirable. I blogged about it here, my tribute of thanks to him and all who serve.

  • Nathan Chitty

    My father and uncle who served in WWII. Dad stateside as a recruiter for the Navy and Uncle Robert as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne.

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    My sister in Law Charity Jones was in Desert Storm, and she is an awesome person and sister. Thanks to all the Veterans for what you do for us. You are our real heroes.

  • http://flashesoftheobvious.blogspot.com/ Forrest Snyder

    1LT Tim Conry. Tim lost his life at Ben Het on 9 May 1972 after 30 days in country.
    CPT Leslie Fred Suttle, mortally wounded while flying Command and Control in the Kontum Pass, also in May 1972. Fred was on his third tour and already had seven purple hearts to his credit.
    and there are others.

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    My husband is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Ranger, Vietnam Vet, and a bronze star recipient. I am thankful for his service, tho I didn’t meet him until years after it.  (We are a “May-December” couple).

    I never realized the importance of Memorial Day and those who serve until my husband taught me.  I wrote a blog post about Memorial Day, and what I learned in 2008, and anyone interested can read it  here.  

    Thank you for your tribute, Michael, and for giving us the opportunity to do the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.patchen.3 Robin Patchen

    My uncle, Harry Birdsong, who served faithfully in Vietnam. He stepped on a mine and lost the lower half of his leg. He’s been plagued with physical problem ever since. His son, Ryan Birdsong, is now serving in the Army. My father served as a fighter pilot during Vietnam.

  • http://www.thenancyway.com/ Nancy Roe

    My dad was in the Army and served in WWII. My brother was in the Navy in the early 60s.  My step-son was in the Navy during 9/11.  I salute them all today, as well as everyone who has served or is serving in our military today.

  • Yodelberg

    I am thankful for the real life servicemen – where ever and whom ever they are-that historical fiction authors (particularly Bodie Thoene) modeled their WWII characters after; giving me a greater understanding of history and human rights issues. 

  • LindaAdamsVA

    I’m a former veteran of the first Persian Gulf War.  The women of war often get forgotten, so I’d like to put in a thank to all the women who have served, including:

    To the approximately 400 women believed to have served in the Civil War by dressing as men.

    Henrietta Wilkins, my neighbor who died 10 years ago.  She served in the Air Force during WWII.

    To the first women who went to West Point.  I still remember when that made the front page of the newspaper in 1976.

    Lt. Diss, a woman who graduated from West Point and served in my unit during Desert Storm.

    And my roommates and buddies, also from Desert Storm: PFC Carolyn Garcia, PV2 Theresa Marshall, and SGT Shaw.

  • http://networkgooder.com Lee Glass

    I would definitely like to thank my Uncle Wil in Dallas Texas.  He has served in the Army for over 20 years!  I’ve spent 4 fours living with him and the structure and wisdom he has imparted upon me has been priceless.  Thank You!

  • http://dalemelchin.wordpress.com/ Dale Melchin

    Sgt. Clyde Sarver US Army Korean War, wife’s grandfather

    Sgt. William Carl Melchin (deceased) US Army WWII, paternal grandfather

    Cpt. Dale Thuren (deceased) Air Force, Flight Instructor WWII

    Thank you for posting this Michael.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sonyamacdesigns Sonya McCllough

    I would like to Thank my country The United States of America for the written acknowledgement that my Daddy’s death six years ago was due to agent orange exposure and not lung cancer. He served his country with love and always said he would risk life again … not one regret did he have. And, his country stood by him to after the end … with truth, honor and love in written form. Thank you Daddy … for your continued 
    obedience to that which in yet scene.

    Jimmie D McCllough Jr 1931 – 2006Franklin, TN

  • Pauline Logan

    My father, Edward Melvin, served as a sargeant during WWII with the Army’s 10th Mountain Dvn in Italy. These ski troops were well known for winning each battle they engaged in. Dad was awarded a Purple Heart, and returned home safely to marry and father eight children. Military discipline carried over into Dad’s life as he became a career manager with Mountain Bell.

    My mother’s brothers Howard Olson, George Olson and Russell Olson also served our country in WWII. Howard served in several branches of our Armed Forces during his lifetime.

    My former husband Jeffrey Logan and his sisters Sandy and Teri served in the Navy. Teri served for a time in Qatar. 

    I’m grateful for each one of my family members who selflessly protected our nation’s freedoms.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I would like to thank my grandfather who served in WWII, I would like to thank the families of the over 1.7 million service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice with their lives in wars, my prayers go out to you :) 

  • melakamin

    I would like to thank my Grandfather, Simon Renner, who fought bravely as a paratrooper, in WWII, as part of the highly decorated 82nd Airborne Division in the Battle of the Bulge and others. I thank my Father who proudly served as a Crew Chief in the Air Force in the Vietnam War. They both are outstanding examples of service to our country and men of honor, courage and sacrifice.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I would like to remember my dad today, who made relief maps in the Navy for the 
    reconnaissance planes that flew over the enemy during World War 2. His stories of war and how they impacted him will never be forgotten.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Taylor/1286512656 Brian Taylor

    I would like to thank both of my grandfathers who served during WW2. Both Robert Taylor Sr and Lewis Wright Sr both served this country well, and for that I am proud. I too never had the privilege to serve in the military, but I’ve always had great respect and admiration for those who take up the call and commitment to serve God and country. I thank you all. God Bless America 

  • Troop1120

    My father in law, 1st Sgt. Tim Phillips USMC, who served two tours in Vietnam and 20 total in the USMC.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    My father served in the U. S. Navy during the Korean War. In April, he went to a reunion of the guys who served on the U. S. S. Boxer. Due to age and health issues, this was their last gathering. Among my siblings, 3 out of 4 of us served in the military (Marines, Army, Air Force), a fact I appreciate all the more and am proud of as time passes. Thank you for the opportunity to share the pride among so many of your readers.

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  • Sandi Banks

    Thank you, Michael, for your tributes to Col. Sidney Bruce, your father-in-law (and my sister’s), and Col. Phil Bruce, also my brother-in-law–two of my heroes, and two of the most winsome, gentle, godly men I’ve known. In addition to their stellar military careers, they were faithful to their families and to their Lord, and I miss them both, as I know you and Gail do. Today I also remember others, with thanks:  friends we lost during our 21 years in the military,  and those brave men and women I never had the privilege of knowing, but whose sacrifices have kept us free.

  • Crisnole

    I would like to thank my Grandfather Jack Price Navy, my father Peter Perez Arm,, my father in law Dom Nole Navyand my brothers, David Airforce,Dennis Navy and Patrick Perez Airforce. I am so proud of all of them, and thankful as well to all the men and women who have servied and continue to serve us to keep us save.

    The Front Porch

  • Robert Jones

     Pop’s “European Vacation”
    by Robert C. Jones on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 7:25pm ·
    my Father (Pop) was 18, he left home on an adventure. He won an
    extended vacation up the East Coat to Boston College where he gathered
    with lots of new friends and got to go to seminars with lots of time to
    prepare for an extended trip. Then to wonderful England (Except for the
    bombs), getting to camp for an entire rainfilled winter. Then a
    leisurely cruise to france and a ferry, almost all the way, to beaches
    of Normandy. Some of his friends went “Home” from there, but most of his
    tour group got to spend a few sunny days, once again getting to camp,
    on the beach. The the hiked all the way through France, and into
    Belgium. Still getting to camp out, they spent the winter on the River
    Rhine, getting to take many day hikes into the beautiful Ardennes
    Forest. After wonderful snowy winter, getting to meat many new friends
    from other countries, like Germany, and a few from italy. He got two boo
    boos during the winter, getting stuck by something sharp while
    rough-housing with his new friends. A second time there was this piece
    of lead that fell from somewhere and hit him in the tummy. He got a free
    trip to Paris when he got that boo boo, and they tried to take away the
    rest of his vacation time, but he left that night. Then, and this is so
    cool, he hitchhiked back to his tour group, because he was having so
    much fun as group leader. Then, when the snow began to melt and most of
    his new friends had been sent HOME, they trekked to Berlin, hoping to
    meet the leader, but he had gone somewhere. They met lots of his friends
    though. As his vacation sadly neared an end, he got to meet some
    Russians near some bridge. They got drunk and almost got into a fight.
    Talking about a rowdy trip!!! Then, his tour leader askedif he wanted 
    to stay in Europe for a year or so and take part in the Liberation
    holidays, since he was having the time of his life, off he went to
    Austria where helped his tour guide greet people coming in and out of
    the country.(I think it was kindof like the Aloha girls at the Hawaii
    Airport). Anyway, the vacation was totally paid for and his tour guide
    even gave him a long cruise home. They even went to the trouble of
    taking the planes out of a big ship and letting them be bunkmates all
    the way home. I think he said that he was on the bottom of the coolest
    hammock bunk setup that was six stories tall. By then he was a little
    homesick, which he said was better than those guys in the bunks above
    him that got sick. He said it was almost like rain, except the corn and
    stuff. They even got about 10 “extra” cruise days to just ride around in
    a really neat Atlantic Hurricane. Once back to New York they gave him
    and his buddies an entire train car to ride home in. He really loved his
    tour guide Sam so much that everyone called him Uncle. He did say that
    one long vacation like that made him appreciate home very much. Said,
    that it was an honor to be asked, and would surely do it again if Sam
    needed his help again, but that he kindof liked being at home. Happy
    Memorial Day everyone. If you know anyone on “vacation”, write them a
    note to say Uncle Sam says “thanks for the help”. And remember, you and i
    ARE Uncle Sam!!

    • Robert Jones

       Oh, and he brought four or five souvenirs home with him. I think two were purple and one was bronze and there was one valor or distinguished something or other. He kept them in his top drawer and said something about this one or that one, and mentioned some named Patton, i think…

  • Jamie Chavez

    My father, James E Clarke (deceased), who joined the air force at the end of the Korean War as an enlisted man, went to officers’ candidate school, and became a pilot. Near the end of his career, he flew helicopters for 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, flying into the jungle at night to pick up downed fighter pilots. 

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    My father (deceased) was a top turret gunner in a B-17 during WWII.  He told me once just how close he came to death when shrapnel from flak went through his seat and between his legs.  

    He was proud to serve, and I miss him greatly (he died in 1994).  

    Freedom is not free.

  • Cindy Ohlwiler

    Today I am giving thanks for the following people:

    My Dad was in the Phillipines during WWII.  He returned home and earned a Master’s Degree in Metalurgical Engineering.  This man was a pillar of integrity, strength and wisdom.  I can’t imagine my life without him.

    My brother is an Air Force veteran and served with special ops for most of his career.  These men have given, and continue to give, more than just their service time in the military.  Many of them will suffer emotional consequences their entire lives.  They have my sincere thanks and I admire their dedication and sacrifice.

    May each and every veteran be greatly blessed for their sacrifice. 

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  • JimStauffer

    An article that should be on the lips of us all. What a life we have that has been preserved by the unselfish sacrifices of these men.

    Reminiscent of the greatest sacrifice ever. Christ as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world.  John 1:29 

  • http://www.UnwillingToSettle.com/ Greg L. Gilbert

    I would like to thank all veterans, active military, active and retired law enforcement and fire departments. Attending an outdoor concert last September, I realized not every country can do what we were doing. A veteran was with us and I thanked him for his service. At church the next morning I was overwhelmed again. Not every country could do what we were doing. I wrote a tribute song that asks a very tough question, “Are you proud of what you’ve done with what they died for?” You can hear some of the song at http://www.ForServing.com

  • Miappsvk

    Thank you to my cousin Gene – USAF -, myfriend Marvin – USAF -, my ex-husband – USASA -, my nephew – USA -, and my fellow American Legion members. I was proud tohave served.

  • Tom Turner

    I would like to thank my son – Capt. Brent Turner, USMC.   Also, great to see Col. Bruce mentioned.   Such a samll world.  He was a good  friend of my in-laws there in Nashville.

  • Dan Lambdin

    Daniel A. Lambdin 4/28/1937 — 7/20/1966 I want to thnak my Dad – He gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country

    For gallantry in action: Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Lambdin distinguished himself on 9 July 1966 while serving as aircraft commander of an armed UH-1B hel…icopter during an emergency medical evacuation mission near Song Be, Republic of Vietnam. While providing support for a combat patrol, CWO Lambdin received a message from an American ground advisor requesting immediate evacuation of a seriously wounded Vietnamese soldier. Since the advisor stated that the landing zone was small and insecure and that he was unable to move the wounded soldier to a new area, CWO Lambdin immediately volunteered to attempt the evacuation. As he conducted two low level passes over the area to determine if the mission was possible, CWO Lambdin’s aircraft received intense Viet Cong ground fire. Nevertheless, he judged that the evacuation was possible and successfully executed an approach and landing amidst the hostile fire. After the patient was safely aboard the helicopter, CWO Lambdin skillfully departed the perilous battle area and flew the patient to medical facilities. CWO Lambdin died on a later date as a result of combat operations in the Republic of Vietnam. CWO Lambdin’s extraordinary heroism in close combat against a hostile force was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

  • http://www.dennisbrooke.com/ Dennis Brooke

    I served during the waning days of the cold war. The biggest injury I suffered during my career was from playing rugby in a city league. I’m in awe of people who served and had to worry about their lives.
    I want to recognize the men of the USS Indianapolis. I ran across their memorial years ago and I wrote about their incredible sacrifice in a story called, “The Forgotten Sailors.” http://dennisbrooke.wordpress.com/
    Blessings to those who still stand in the gap for us. Safe journeys home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/womenstandup Christine Leahy

    Thank you Michael for taking your gratitude for our service members to your platform.

    I served in the United States Army 2007-2011.  I was stationed in DC with the 3d US Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard.

    I’d like to thank the countless men and women, my brothers and sisters in arms, for their leadership, training, and strong shoulders, for which I benefitted greatly.

    This weekend is especially important for me since I had the privilege of putting thousands of US Flags into the hollowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.  There was no greater mission and no greater honor that I had or will have than to do that with my unit every year.

    I will never forget.

    I Am an American Soldier.
    -SGT Christine Leahy

  • Christina Showers

    I would like to thank ALL currently serving members of our military and their loved ones who support them.  In addition, thank you to the veterans that have previously served and the ones that have paid the ultimate price so that we may enjoy this beautiful thing called freedom.  I genuinely thank you.

    My Dad, James M. Cook, thank you for your service in the Vietnam War.  I pray that I will be able to fulfill your wish of going back there and making peace with everything before your condition worsens.

    Also, thank you to my Grandpa’s, Arley Brandvold and Velmar Cook, for their service in WWII. 

    I am truly grateful and I will never, ever,  take freedom for granted.
    God Bless America!

  • http://www.get-onpoint.com/ Alicia

    I’d  like to thank all those who served, still serve, and the families who allow us the benefit from their loved ones service.

  • http://twitter.com/MLSchwienD Michele Schwien

    Thank you, Dad, Ronald D. Schwien (deceased). He served in the U.S. Air Force,
    assigned to Armed Forces Radio and Television Service and the Strategic Air Command

    Thank you, Jason D. Schwien, my nephew. He served in the U.S. Army as a Cavalry Scout in Afghanistan.    

    I am grateful for everyone who has served.   

    I appreciate you, Michael, for opening up your platform for us to express our gratitude.

  • https://www.facebook.com/PaulGustavson.Net/ Paul Gustavson

    Captain Arthur R. Gustavson, USN.  USNA Class of 52.   Served during two wars:  Korea and Vietnam.  

    He was a servant leader who fought for many and tried to make the world a better place for my mom, my brother, my sister, and hundreds of others.

    He now rests at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Miss you Dad!  

    • Jevonnah Ellison


      I salute you in honoring your dad today. I too, have friends and family at Arlington. May God keep and bless you always.

  • Jonyungk

    I would like to thank

    My dad, T.F. Yungkans, who served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.

    My uncle, Thomas O’Brien, who served two tours in Vietnam and remained in the Air Force several years afterwards.

    My stepson, Guillermo I. Carrillo, who participated in both Persian Gulf conflicts and is preparing to go again on deployment with the Navy.

    Major David Eddy, the late husband of my dearest friend, who served 20 years in the Army, led troops into combat in Bosina and Somalia and devoted the last years of his all-too-brief life to train and encourage a future generation to follow in the footsteps of his lifelong idol and role model, George Washington.

    I am eternally thankful to you and everyone else who placed themselves in harm’s way to ensure my freedom to write, speak, love, worship and live as I choose, without undue precept from any state religion or government agency but acknowledging the full responsibilities toward my country and fellow man that comes with that liberty. In short, I love my country, what it represents, how living here has affected my life and the people who helped make its continuance a reality.

    I would also suggest a required reading for the day: the poem “Washington’s Monument, February, 1885″ by Walt Whitman. It’s not long but very succinctly sums up the true meaning for this day:
    Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
    Far from its base and shaft expanding—the round zones circling, comprehending,

    Thou, Washington, art all the world’s, the continents’ entire—not yours alone, America,

    Europe’s as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer’s cot,
    Or frozen North, or sultry South—the African’s—the Arab’s in his tent,

    Old Asia’s there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
    (Greets the antique the hero new? ’tis but the same—the heir legitimate, continued ever,

    The indomitable heart and arm—proofs of the never–broken line,

    Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same—e’en in defeat defeated not, the same:)

    Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,

    Through teeming cities’ streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,

    Now, or to come, or past—where patriot wills existed or exist,

    Wherever Freedom, pois’d by Toleration, sway’d by Law,

    Stands or is rising thy true monument.

  • David Jaworski

    Thanking God for our Vets! Here are a few potentially life saving things you can do to Honor Vets this Memorial Day weekend. http://goo.gl/XS6Fh

  • http://www.courageoussingleparenting.com/ Scotidomeij

    I honor my son, Sgt. First Class Kristoffer B.
    Domeij, 29, who died on his 14th deployment and my
    daughter-in-love, Sarah, and my two precious granddaughters Mikajsa (3 years old) and Aaliyah (almost two years old) and EVERYONE who has served our country through military service.

    Memorial Day honors those who died protecting our country. I attended an
    event at Fort Bragg strategically scheduled before my first REAL Memorial Day
    focused on the families’ loss, so that when we returned we could turn our focus
    to honor our loved one’s sacrifice. I found that incredibly thoughtful. I’m
    finding it interesting that the military ministers to and uplifts my grieving
    heart more than religious institutions. A general’s
    wife’s observation about my son’s devotion and commitment made me realize he
    pursued what I desired most in life for him. Being raised in ministry I’d hoped
    my sons would pursue the “higher calling”—ministry. I mistook the task—ministry—for
    the heart and the calling. How sad that some pursue their identity, reputation
    and notoriety in the business of “ministry”, unaware they’re missing
    God’s higher calling of service and sacrifice. Honor, duty, devotion is a
    matter of the heart and a higher calling. How and where we live out our calling
    looks different for each person. I’m awed by how my son lived out his high
    calling, fully aware of the risks understood by the missionary’s heart—being
    willing to lay down his life for his values, his family, and his friends.

    many of us can say we live from the heart with that kind of passion and

    On September 24, 2011, Kristoffer wrote on his
    Facebook page: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying “Whom shall I send,
    and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” — Isaiah 6:8. Thank
    you for all the love. If I don’t get back to you anytime soon…sorry.” On
    October 22, 2011 my son, Kristoffer and Pvt. 1st Class Christopher A.
    Horns, 20, and Cultural Support Team member 1st
    Lt. Ashley White, 24, were killed by victim-activated


    Memorial Day is ONE day a year set aside to honor everyone who died
    protecting our country. For some it’s nothing more than a day off or a day to
    BBQ. For those who grapple with the pain and loss of a brave loved one who died
    serving you, we will honor our loved ones EVERY day for the rest of our lives.

    One last thought and prayer: My son’s visible wounds from an IED killed him
    on October 22, 2011. Today I also want to honor the heroes and veterans who
    served our country and succumbed to death from the invisible wounds of the
    soul. One Special OP General told me that the DOD struggles to cope with the
    abundance of suicides associated with this war. Please pray for and honor their
    suffering loved ones who grapple with an additional burden of unimaginable grief.

    Facts: More veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have died by their own
    hand than died from enemy fire. (Department of Veterans Affairs) 18 military
    veterans commit suicide every day. The youngest, between the ages of 17 and 24,
    are four times more likely to kill themselves than older veterans. The men and
    women fighting for our freedoms have never been more isolated from their
    countrymen: less than 1 percent of the population has served in the armed
    forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Marina Berryman

    I am so proud of and grateful for the service of my uncle, Michael Fuentes (deceased) who served in the Navy; my uncle, Joel L. Morris (ret.) Commander in the Navy, who began his career as a helicopter pilot/medic in the Marines and served in Vietnam, then continued his career in the Navy as a pilot; my cousin Wesley Morris, Major in the Air Force, currently in Afghanistan; my cousin Aaron Morris, MP in the Marines, served in Iraq as part of fire-fighting team. You guys are my heroes…thank you for serving, thank you for persevering, thank you for wearing the USA flag proudly and for honoring God and country with your service!! 

    Also, a special shout-out to my dad, Carlos Velez, the most patriotic man I know, who instilled  a sense of pride, patriotism and honor into his family. He would have gladly served his new country as a recent immigrant from Mexico (early 1960’s), but because of his English language deficiency was not accepted into the armed services. Believe me — whenever and wherever an American flag is waving grandly, my dad is there in spirit, believing the best in our country, wanting it to flourish and succeed in its mission of “liberty and justice for all!”

  • ReasonDisciple

    I was in the US Army and I am still worried and haven’t heard from some of my buddies yet. I got out in 2001 THREE WEEKS BEFORE 9/11! So I am totally concerned about of lot of my friends that stayed in after I left. I pray that they or at least their families are okay.

  • Janie Gentry

    I appreciate all the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom.  My family was touched in the most personal way when my uncle, Dallas Robinson, was killed in Vietnam on March 28, 1971. 

  • Richeycom

    I would like to thank my father, Lt. Leland R. Richey who gave his life for our country as a Naval Aviator during the Korean Conflict. While his remains have never been found I would also like to thank the POW-MIA movement for all they do in continuing to try to bring closure to the families of those who are still missing. Lastly, we were not the only ones who have lost a loved one. I thank all those brave men who sacrificed their all so that we may remain free to enjoy our lives. PLEASE, let us NEVER FORGET!

  • Neal

    Mike mentioned his dad about being wounded in Korea.  I am Mike’s cousin.  We also have two cousins who were CWO4 MARINES and both tankers as his dad, who were both in Korea.  We had one uncle who was in WWII.  My dad (Warren) had 24 years, WWII (lst Cav) in the Pacific, Philippines and occupation of Japan.  Then he changed over to the Air Force when created.  He got tired of toting a gun around. He retired from the Air Force, 31 May 1966 for a total of 24 years.  He is now deceased as well as our uncle Roger.  I did three tours in Nam and then involved with Grenada.  I am now retired from the service, 22 years.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your service in Viet Nam, Neal. Warm greetings from Tennessee.

  • Tammy K.

    I would like to honor my Father-in-law, who passed away a week and a half ago at the age of 89. He served in WWII in Berlin, where he met his bride and went back for her and married in 1947z He still remembered when President Eisenhower came in to the Army kitchen there on base in Germany, shook his hand and said, “you’re doing a fine job feeding our troops, keep up the good work.” Anytime we would try to get him to talk about the good ‘ol days, this proud memory would always come back for him with a smile. As taps played and the flag ceremony played at his funeral last Saturday, my husband and I cried, knowing he would have been happy knowing he was honored for his service he was so proud of doing. RIP Grandpa K.

  • http://www.chaplainmike.com/ Mike Hansen

    I only remember him as Sgt Wooden, one of my Basic Training Training Instructors at Lackland AFB when I was an Airman Basic. He was the one TI I felt closer to than any of others. He scared me the most on Night One walking off that bus with his booming voice. He was the one who look over leadership after our first TI left and encouraged us we could be a great Flight. And he was the last of them I said goodbye to as I stepped onto the bus on my way to tech training. He shaped my own expectations as a young man entering the military. 

    Thanks Sgt Wooden in believing in us raw recruits!

  • Tim

    As a Brit, thank you for all American military personnel’s dedication and sacrifices. Britain and America may occasionally indulge in banter and joke about one another, but there’s no one else I’d rather have as our closest ally.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Here, here. I agree!

  • Jimeeaster

    I would like to honor my cousin, Rusty , known to the army as Paul D. Skelton II, who died in Vietnam 45 years ago this memorial weekend. Rusty was only 21 and left a young wife expecting their first child who was born 4 months after her father died.

    Rusty, we all love and miss you….

    Thank you for your sacrifice beyond measure.


  • Magnellie

    THANK YOU to all the heroes who never came home. We owe our lives and way of life to all of you! We can never repay you.

  • Slowtraincoming

    I would like to thank the NEXT kid that signs up to serve. Inspite of the horrible stories we hear about everyday; inspite of the treatment the veterns receive when they come back; inspite of there being no real reason to enlist; they just keep going! Somebody’s son or daughter; somebody’s husband or wife; somebody’s mom or dad. Thank you, to whomever is next. May God protect you and keep you and your family safe and sound.

  • Robin K

    I want to thank my son, Daniel, who served in the Army in Iraq for 15 months and was wounded in his first month there with shrapnel in his leg.  He also earned a purple heart.  I am so very proud of him.

  • Becky Bacher

    I would like to thank my son, Sgt. Bryan Davis, who has seen two tours in Iraq and is currently stationed in Hawaii.  He has received the Bronze Star and numerous awards and commendations. 
    My father-in-law, Glenn L Bacher (deceased), US Navy in WWII.
    To my uncles, Bill Stockwell (deceased) and WF Mitchell (deceased) who served in Korea and WWII, respectively.
    And to my brother-in-law, Pete Davis, US Navy. 

  • Tammy_Skipper

    I would like to thank my husband, faithful Airmen of the United States Air Force for over 18 years.

  • http://www.michael-duncan.net/ Michael Duncan

    I had the privilege of serving in the U.S. Air Force and have known many men and women of valor and distinction.  There is one, in particular, however that I want to mention.  Captain James L. Duncan even now serves as a combat medic in the Army and has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  For me, he epitomizes the courage and fortitude that the military exhibits and I am proud to be his brother.

  • Scott Heiser

    I am very grateful for my families military service to this country:
    My father, Captain George W. Heiser, died on active duty in 1958 after serving in WWII Europe and North Africa and Korea.
    My Brothers: First Sergeant Gary G. Heiser, (Ret)(Deceased)(Army), served in Vietnam and the European Theater; Captain George W. Heiser II (Ret)(Army), served three tours in Vietnam; Sergeant First Class Thomas J. Heiser(Ret)(Army), served in Germany, Italy and Korea; I also served in the U.S. Army for 10 years.
    My Father-in-Law: Command Sergeant Major Albert T. Justice (Ret)(Deceased)(Army), served one tour in Vietnam and multiple tours in Germany.

    My family can to America in the early 1700s and has served in every war, including the War for Independence.

  • http://www.gayleveiteheimer.com/ Gayle Vetenheimer

    I would like to thank my son, Ben, who has chosen to serve his country and is currently at basic training for the Navy. He has been training for the past year to prepare for his service and hopes to serve with the special forces. Also thanks to Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley and their efforts with Carry the Load. Check out http://www.carrytheload.org. This was a great experience for our family.

  • Steveb

    I’d like to thank my son, Mark Baumann, USAF. 3 tours in Iraq and 2 in Afghanistan

  • Mario

    Thank you for the acknowledgement. Some pastors act like this day never happened.


  • http://KevinCraig.us/peace.htm Kevin Craig
  • Neal Durham

    I to would like to thank my uncle Robert Thomas Hyatt for his service in Korea.  There have been many Hyatts all the way back to the Revolutionary War and the current conflicts that have been in Iraq and Afghanistan.  WWI, there was an uncle Ray Bivens who was on a troop transport waiting to depart the states when the war to end all wars did end.  In WWII, there was my dad Warren Durham, lst Cav in the Pacific along with his brothers, Orville (Normandy on D-Day), Jim, Hank, Ralph.  I know what war is and it is not glamorus as I can personally attest to that (Nam:  Dec 68 – Dec 69, Jan 73 – Mar 73, Oct 73 – Jan 74.)  A big thanks to those who gave their all in any situation, including those firemen and police involved with 9/11.

  • Doug Andrews

    My father, Romaine E. Andrews, WWII Navy Vet.
    My son, Ross D. Andrews, Enduring Freedom Vet.
    Joshua Chamberlin, Civil War Vet (Andy Andrews/Travelers Gift)
    Thanks to all Vets for their choices to make and keep us Free.

  • http://JohnChoque.org John Choque

    I wish to thank all my friends from Earl Wooster High, Reno, Nevada, who gave their lives in Vietnam. I too served in the US Navy during the Vietnam war era and lived to tell about it. Praise to my Lord!

  • Connie Almony

    I want to thank all the families who have sacrificed time with their loved ones, supporting them in their work to keep us safe and free. The spouses and children who are without the service member and also those who care for our wounded vets when they come home.

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

    Both of my grandfathers, Alexander Fine & Leonard Polakoff, earned purple hearts in WWII. The former, since he was Jewish & spoke Yiddish, was near the front lines as the troops entered and rescued concentration camps. He could communicate with the prisoners.

  • http://www.fivefoldfatherhood.com/ Ricardo Butler

    I didn’t have any family that I can think of that died in service. I served in the military from 1998 to 2001. There are friends after 9/11 whom me and several others cannot find so this goes out to them IF they have passed away in the middle east. But still praying that we find them. #salute

  • J Rivera

    Thank you very much for posting this and sharing the true meaning of Memorial. I would encourage all to stop by a place where they can drop a flower on the grave or in the hands of someone who lost a loved one.

  • http://shultzphotoschool.com Kyle Shultz

    My Grandpa Harold Dunlap, WWII Army, Purple Heart, still living.
    My Great Uncle Robert Dunlap, WWII Marine Corp, Medal of Honor (deceased).

  • Mark Lloyd

    I’d like to thank my father, Claude Lloyd, who served as a flight engineer/gunner in a B-24. He flew 51 missions over Central Europe and received a Distinguished Flying Cross for the effort. He died in March at 89.

    Walton Muir’s who served in the Navy during WWII.

    Ken Pierce, my neighbor, who as part of the reserves did two tours in Afghanistan.

    My friend Jim Chynoweth, who was part of the invasion of Baghdad.

    Thanks for your service.

  • Bernice Kinney Coles

    Thanks to my daughter, Janelle who served four years
    in the United States Navy.I’m so proud of her service and the wisdom and discipline it helped her develop.

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    My (late) husband, Capt John Combs, who served in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze star, who lost his battle with cancer, but gained eternal life on Dec 24, 2013. I miss him so much.

  • http://www.wadeoradio.com/ DJ Wade-O

    I googled your father in law Michael and came across this: http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/07/16/156851175/five-men-agree-to-stand-directly-under-an-exploding-nuclear-bomb. Incredible story and you can hear his voice a bit in this.

    My grandfather was one of the Tuskegee airman. We lost him earlier this year. I’m definitely grateful for his life and service to our country.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for doing that. I added the link to the post itself. I teared up just listening to his voice. He was a great man, and I really miss him.

      • http://www.wadeoradio.com/ DJ Wade-O

        Seems like it. Anyone willing to do what he did in that video is special.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    My father Joe Tarver served on the U. S. S. Boxer during the Korean War. 3 of his 4 sons, including me, served in the military. My brother Roger (deceased) was the first to join and went into the Marines. I joined the Army, and my youngest brother Bill served in the Air Force. Bill’s now doctor to the stars–head doctor at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. My father continues to be active in his church and community and makes me proud as a deeply committed man of faith.

  • http://www.purposefulmoney.com Erin Baehr

    So many to thank, but those in my family are:
    My grandfather, Thomas O’Brien, who served with the Marines in WW2. He received a purple heart and was at Iwo Jima when they raised the flag.
    My uncle, also Thomas O’Brien, Marine
    His daughter Tara O’Brien, currently serving in the Navy
    My brother, Dennis O’Brien, who served with the Marines during Operation Desert Storm, and later was an embedded reporter with a Marine unit in Iraq in 2003. The combat he experienced led to PTSD which played a part in his death the following year.
    Finally my son, who is currently deployed.

  • Ken

    My own father–9 years in Navy on aircraft carrier–took his own life while in Officer Candidate School, but it enabled me to have money for college. And my daughter, who has been in USMC 17 years, been a drill instructor at Parris Island and an officers’ drill instructor at Quantico, and just returned from a stint in Afghanistan. OOOOH-RAH!

  • http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com/ Sonya La McCllough

    Thank you Mr. Michael, I would like to thank my Dad as well …
    My Dad, Tx Sgt Jimmie D McCllough (deceased), had a distinguished career in the Air Force. He served in both the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts as an instructor. He later went on to be one of the first African Americans to teach at what was know as Nashville Auto Diesel College. I am forever honored to be the daughter of this trailblazer of Love. Our family was honored to receive more than a letter from President George W. Bush at his death which boldly stated that our Dad’s lung cancer was due to agent orange. My Dad was delighted beyond measure to risk and give his life for this his one country. I am my Father’s Daughter.

  • Alex

    Michael – thanks for the opportunity. I’d like to thank my grandfather Francis Foran M.D. who was a medic in WWI. My father Ted Szalinski a Purple Heart recipient in WWII. My uncle Tom Foran a Navy carrier pilot in WWII. And my first cousin once removed Lt Edward Larkin who was KIA during the battle of Leyte Gulf and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

  • http://www.hospitalitycleaning101.com Hospitality Cleaning

    Thanks for reminder of such an important day.
    My father, both grandfathers, and now my father in law all served

  • http://www.The-How-to-Guru.com/ The-How-to-Guru.com

    Thank you for this post Michael!
    REMEMBER this Memorial Day a grieving Mother & her son’s story…..

  • Kayla H

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to public thank those who serve or have served in the past.

    I would like to thank:

    Both of my grandfathers James Leggett and John Robinett who served in the US Army and the USAF.

    (Ret.) US Army Captain Dr. Bob Ray Sr.

    (the late) US Army 1st Lt Clovis Tim Ray (Son of Captain Ray above) He was KIA on March 25, 2012 in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan. He was one of the most remarkable people that I have ever met. The army lost one of it’s greatest soldiers that day.

  • http://www.raeratslef.com Rae Ratslef

    Thanks Michael! I’ve been wondering how to tackle setting up my first blog. I followed the video and although there were a few screens that didn’t quite mesh up, I was able to set up http://www.raeratslef.com and do my first post!! I also called BlueHost twice during the process with questions, and they were an absolute delight to work with. I’ve signed up for the WP101 tutorials over the next year so watch for new and improved updates to my Blog. Have a great day!

  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

    I would like to publicly thank my brother in-law. He is currently is over in Afghanistan for his forth tour. Also my sister who just had her first baby with her husband over seas…we need to take time to thank the family that supports men and woman that are serving. Love you Daniel and Daniela Pina

  • Jennifer Schmidt

    My son who is currently in training in the US Navy!

  • Jevonnah Ellison

    I’d like to thank my husband and father.

    My husband served in the Navy as an Officer and my father served in the Air Force and fought in Vietnam. Their bravery and courage is significant. And I’d also like to thank the families and persons listed in this comment area. What an amazing group of people dedicated to a common cause.

  • Linda Parvin Hutchinson

    On this Memorial Day we remember Ray Joseph with love and gratitude. http://www.rjhfoundation.org/
    Remembering SPC Ray Joseph Hutchinson….always

  • Gayle Veitenheimer

    I would like to thank my grandfather who served as an airplane mechanic in WWII.
    I would also like to thank my son who currently serves in the Navy’s special operations forces. His active duty stays prevents use of his name and specific duty.

  • rks423

    My father, Robert O. Storey, Jr. who flew P51’s in WW2 over Germany. He served with honor along with many others. He went to heaven in 1998 and we still miss him.

  • Ernie El Lansford

    I would like to thank my dad Ernest Lansford, SR (deceased) who was an MP for the Army Air Corp (before Air Force) in World War II stationed in Africa. Also my father-in-law (deceased) who served in the US Army during World War II stationed at Pearl Harbor. My nephew Michael Lansford, Jr who currently serves in South Korea as a WO 5 and all my cousins that served from World War II to current service as translators, pilots and water vessel commanders. They served and serve so I may be free to write this post. Cheers–Ernie Lasnford

  • Martha

    My father and two uncles who served in Korea, my other uncle who went straight from high school into WWII – he served from Africa to Europe and finally in the south seas. They all made it home as did my grandfathers who servd in WWI. I am most thankful that none of my generation has had to go to war. I am also thankful for my nephew who is going into the marines next year.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    I would like to thank my father-in-law, Donald Sunne, who served in the Navy in WWII; my brother, Michael Reuter, who served in the Marines; my dad, Kenneth Reuter and his brother Leonard (Jack) Reuter, who both served in the Army during the Korean War; my cousin, Melvin Green, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War; and most of all, I’d like to honor my dad’s brother whom I never met, Harlan Reuter, who served in the Army and went Missing in Action during the Korean War. His sacrifice is forever remembered. God bless all who have served or are currently serving this great country.

  • John Ramstead

    I would like to thank the families of my fallen comrades. http://www.johnramsteadcoaching.com/who-are-we-really-remembering-today/

  • http://johnpatrickweiss.com John Patrick Weiss

    I’d like to thank my father, John Baker Weiss, who served as a marine in WW2. He went on to become an Administrative Law Judge but was also proud of his service. Also, my grandfather, Colonel John Joseph Richard Weiss, who also served honorably in the wars. We owe all our service members a debt of gratitude. Thanks, Michael, for your post!

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    My 88 year old Grandpa would served in WW2!

  • Tom Vanderbilt

    Hate to be a stickler but there’s one important distinction that you’re missing and many other well-meaning folks are missing it, too. Today is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who died in defense of this great nation. As part of my military service, I sent many of these men and women home from the battle field. Those we honor today are those who came home in flag draped caskets. Those we honor today are “gold star” families.

    I and my family are fortunate that I returned from Iraq safe and sound. While I appreciate many who have thanked me for my service this weekend, this weekend is not about veterans. The weekend for all veterans comes in November. This weekend, this day, is about that didn’t make it back.

    Don’t just thank a veteran today. Give prayers, positive thoughts, and heartfelt thanks for those families who will have an empty place at their dinner table and an emptier place in their heart. They are the ones we need to remember on Memorial Day.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tom. Distinction noted.

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Thanks to all for their service on this wonderful day.

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  • http://livingawarriorlife.com/ Malori Mayor

    I would like to thank my husband and his twin brother, Captains Mark and Matthew Mayor, US Army, both 2-time Afghanistan combat veterans and wounded warriors. They are my heroes and I thank God that He brought them back both times. :)

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’d like to thank my dad, Joseph Lalonde, who served during WWII. Also my grandpa, Meredith Isaac, who served in the army. And a very special thank you to Henry Wiggins who served and passed away this weekend.

  • http://www.annemariegazzolo.com/ Anne Marie Gazzolo

    Everyone who served and is currently serving and will serve in the future for keeping us safe. My father was in the Navy during Korea and I am an immensely proud aunt of freshly minted Marine. :) God bless them all!

  • Jerry Dugan

    I had the privilege to remember three brothers-in-arms this Memorial Day, PVT Kelley Prewitt, SPC David Nutt, and 1SG Joe Garza. I wrote a post for PVT Prewitt herehttp://www.therealjerrydugan.com/2014/05/why-i-will-go-on-memorial-day-silent.html?m=1