th[6]During yesterday’s “walking meeting” I mentioned to my friend I had been invited to speak to a group of Veteran’s.  My friend suggested I speak about Memorial Day… I yawned, then I remembered.

A special high school classmate of mine, surprised me the day of my hearing.  I wasn’t expecting Suzie to be there, she was there… integrity speaks volumes. Suzie is one of those friends you don’t talk to every day, but you know she is there.  She rocks! Suzie, was a Navy Nurse, served in Desert Storm and became a Navy Commander.  I’m so honored to have her as my friend.

I couldn’t get my head around the fact I had to surrender myself to prison.  Suzie suggested I just looked at it as my deployment instead of incarceration.  So from that moment, I called it my “deployment”!

Memorial Day in prison was like any other day, except most of the employees had a paid day off.  As I reflected upon the Military, the loss and unnecessary suffering, I began to feel guilty for ever referring to my incarceration as a deployment, because it wasn’t a deployment.

Being away from family and loved ones is something prisoners and military share, but combat, casualties, and enemy attacks are not.  Deployment can bring physical and emotional consequences along with wounds endured long after serving.

My father, a West Point Graduate did his own reflecting this past Memorial Day…a few of his thoughts shared…

“Today we rationalize the deaths of thousands of our military as being “for or in defense of
 their country” when, in fact, they were ordered to do what they had been trained to do …
 in most instances by politicians trying to use our military as a big stick rather than an
 agent trained and initially dedicated “breaking things and killing people”, horrific as that

 Our elected leaders deflect criticism of their decisions to commit our military by always
 espousing how those who died (heroically) as having “given their lives for their country”
 ….in fact it was because those same politicians wanted to exercise our military might to
 make others do our bidding.

 Today, we salute those of the military who have died doing their job and those living
 veterans who have served …. and our “military”, the one, single element of our Federal
 government admired and trusted by the American people. Politicians, most never having
 served in the military attempting to show how great and patriotic they are, grab on to
 Memorial Day with platitudes about veterans … loud, blatant hypocrisy”!

To those who have served, glad you are home, for those serving, come home and to the parents and families of lost loved ones, my heart goes out to you…not only on Memorial Day.


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