TN50#22, Memorial Day Matters, 31 May 2021

Hi Team,

Happy Monday and welcome to The Next 50 #22.

Memorial Day is a tough nut to crack for me since I retired in 2016 and it hit me really hard this year.  Bottom Line, this has been a day of me hiding in the basement, working on a project and drinking beer.

A good friend asked me what we (TM Racey) had planned for the rest of the Memorial Day weekend when we were talking two days ago.  Here is what immediately popped into my head, “Nothing, because I can’t deal with Memorial Day and certain other situations that make me feel uncomfortable about my past life in the military.”

I didn’t say this, instead I talked about the craziness of the last few weeks and how TM Racey planned to relax and do some low-key things over the rest of the weekend.

The truth for me is Memorial Day is a holiday that I haven’t figured out, so I hide out since retiring 5 years ago.

Back in the Unit it was easy.  A somewhat formal and intimate ceremony in our Memorial Court, one of the most sacred spots in the whole world for me.  Me and a bunch of people just like me managing to keep it together while the names of the people we love and were with when they died are solemnly read and bag pipes, I always lost it on the bag pipes.

This is what I know about the bad ass Commandos that died well in training and combat within minutes, hours or days of our last conversations:

  1. They had volunteered many times to get where they were in the military.
  2. They loved what they were doing in the military, training and combat
  3. Our last conversations were filled with topics that extended well past the unexpected end of their life.

I also know this, the families and friends of my dead commando friends deal with a shit storm of surprise, shock, disbelief and sadness.  Why wouldn’t they?  They didn’t sign up for this.

This is the part of Memorial Day that I haven’t figure out.

My goal for Memorial Day 2022, and beyond.  Do better, and here is how I see that:

  1. Reach out to Gold Star Families that I know and that matter to me, regularly.
  2. Plan Memorial Day Weekend events for my family and I to attend because Memorial Day is important.
  3. Not just drink and hide

There you have it, if you read this you need to keep me honest for next year!

Have a good one, Alex