Saturday, May 13, 2006

Service to Our Country

Too often in this society, we forget to thank those who serve our country. I know that I don't always take an opportunity to thank folks that serve in our military forces. Truth is, I don't have a whole lot of opportunities.

However, the following letter was sent to me and I received permission to post it on the blog. It is from a young woman who served her country through the Coast Guard Reserves. Now, this may not at first glance seem like much, but she was called into active duty for 8 months, having to leave her husband of 2 months.

She describes her final days of being a reservist as bittersweet. Here is the letter:

"I just wanted to let you all know that today is officially my last day in the Coast Guard. It is obviously a bitter sweet day as most of you know thatI thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Coast Guard.

Some of the highlights include qualifying on numerous weapons, becoming a certified EMT, driving boats attheir maximum potential and being authorized to ram other boats if need be, to be in charge of my own boat and crew, to train with the Navy Search and Rescue team and jump out of a helicopter, to patrol in Seattle and go into the locks that lead intoWashington Lake, to jump the wakes of tankers on our way to Catalina Island, to participate in a Search andRescue exercise where I hung from a harness from a helicopter and was dangled all over Lake Tahoe, to detain (handcuff) a man triple the size of myself, to save a man suffering from sever hypothermia, and the unforgettable experience of boot camp in New Jersey.

There were rough times as well including being recalled for duty and leaving my husband of 2 months for 8 months, attending many schools, moving I think 8 times in 5 years, and technically being government property. Overall, I will miss the Coast Guard greatly. I am excited, however, to be a civilian. I am writing this to you to remind you what a great experience the military has been for myself and what a great honor it has been to serve my country. I also wanted to say thank you for your support.

Semper Paratus (Always Ready)

BM1 M.S.

Those have to be some pretty amazing memories and experiences for anyone to go through and she is just one person. However, there is a great sacrifice (from family) that many choose to make. That would be a very difficult part for addition to that whole running around, exercise till you puke, getting yelled at (I would cry), fun that I have only seen on TV. Even if just for that, anyone who can make it through any bootcamp is amazing to me. However, that is simply the tip of the iceberg.

So, to her and any serviceman or woman who may be reading, I extend a truly heartfelt thank you. Without you and your service, this country would not be what it is today...Good or bad. The freedoms we have and fight for are a result of brave, strong young men and women like this one.



Russ said...

You are sweet, tough, and so very thoughtful. I applaud you for your sensitivity and patriotism. Many and probably most times these qualities are combined and required for such a task. Melissa and Tracy are both troopers who rise to the task.

Tracy said...

I too, truly respect anyone who can make it through boot camp without breaking down. Leaving your family is a gigantic sacrifice, and I appreciate it. The person who wrote the letter was called into duty shortly after 9/11 to serve on an anti-terrorism team. The threat was not only in New York, but everywhere, including Southern California. I felt safe knowing that people, like the person who wrote the letter, were working hard and being committed to our country. Every little bit counts when it comes to serving our country. Thanks for your bravery, sacrifice, and guts.