Bonnie’s Beach 🏖

My Life. My Experiences. My Love. My Words.

To Remember…

Memorial Day has always been a sad day of remembrance. It is a day to honor the brave soldiers who gave their lives for their country so that we can live freely in it. I’m lucky. Everyone I know from my stint in the Army is still alive. Not all of them are well, but they’re all still here and living the best life they can. Some have seen war, some more than once, and others have not. Everyone’s experiences are vastly different, but we all share one thing in common. We all signed documents stating we would die for our country if the time came.

Remembering those who died in service to their country once a year hardly seems sufficient. The Facebook and Instagram and Twitter feeds are full of reminders and pictures and quotes to share their thanks for those who are no longer here to say you’re welcome. Memorials are erected. Flags are put up downtown. Speeches are given. Blogs are written. Moments of silence are quietly regarded.

This holiday weekend is also regarded as the beginning of summer. Pools and water parks are open for the season. The boats are prepped for pulling tubes and wakeboarders around lakes. Grills are lit. Food and drinks are shared. Friends and family get together. If you’re lucky enough to work at a company that observes Memorial Day as a holiday, even better! So it’s easy to forget the reason behind the celebration. There were men and women, just like us, who believed in this country enough to give everything for it. Everything. Whether it was their job, or they were ordered to, they did it.

A friend on FB really got my mind going which inspired my writing about today. She and her family visited gravesites of fallen soldiers. This woman is an amazing American, and so is her husband. They are proud and not afraid to show it and say it, and they are instilling those values into their daughter. From all the posts I see year after year, hers was the only one that stood out to me. It was the only one that made me ask myself if I am truly a proud American. Do I really appreciate the sacrifices that were made so I can enjoy the freedoms I have today? And I am. And I do. With all of my heart.

So I say thank you to those who can never tell me you’re welcome. I thank those who have served with friends they lost on the battlefields. I thank those who lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters, parents, and best friends. Because they remember the fallen every single day. Thank you to the brave who made the ultimate sacrifice, and thank you to those who have to live without them for the rest of their lives.

4 Comments »

Thank You For Your Service

Those of you who are close to me know I was in the Army at one point in time.  You also probably know I wasn’t in for very long. Due to some poor personal decisions (none I regret) at the time, I was given the option to get out or stay in.  I was pregnant and wasn’t allowed to finish my advanced training until I was no longer pregnant. I wasn’t allowed to march.  I wasn’t allowed to run.  I wasn’t allowed to carry anything. Rules I believe everyone can agree are dated and stupid.  Due to not being able to do those things, I was not allowed to partake in the final field training exercise in order to graduate from AIT.  Rather than hanging out for the next 7 months in San Angelo, TX, and wait until I could complete my FTX, I took the option to get out.  

I left with an honorable discharge, a ring on my finger and disatisfaction with myself.  This still makes me a veteran.  I don’t qualify for any veteran anything since I was in less than the minimum two years that help you with college funding and all that jazz, but I’m still a veteran.  To me, I don’t feel like one.  I don’t like it when my old Army buddies thank me for my service.  I don’t stand up at sporting events or any events touting my veteran status.   I don’t feel I did anything to deserve any respect, and the word makes me uncomfortable.  

One of my closest friends sent me a text today thanking me for my service.  I told him I didn’t do shit, and it was he who should be thanked for his service.  He reminded me that we both signed our lives away for our country, which is a hell of a lot more than most people.  He has a point.  There was a clause in there stating I was pretty much handing my life over to my country.  I agreed to it, and I signed my name with pride.  I wanted to join the military right out of high school, but that was not an option I was given.  Being 17 when I graduated, a parental figure would not sign for me to join.  Instead, I went to a college I was ill prepared for, and I failed miserably.  It’s not that I wasn’t smart enough. I could have graduated from there if I had applied myself, but it wasn’t something I was ready to do.  The other option I had hoped for was to take a year off before going to college, but that wasn’t allowed either. So…

After failing most of my classes and suffering from severe test anxiety (I had never failed anything in my life until college), I dropped out.  By this time I was old enough to join without anyone else’s permission.  So I did!  I cut my hair short (something I will never do again) thinking it would be easier to manage(wrong!), and I tried to get in shape a little before I left.  It was a strange experience for sure.  I had really wanted to get into the medical field, but there were no open jobs for that line of work.  I chose intelligence instead.  It seemed exciting and full of mystery, and I’m sure at one point in time, it probably was.  Let me tell you, not exciting!  Unless your idea of excitement is sitting in a windowless building and shredding things properly, it was quite boring.  

Basic training was so much fun though!  That was my favorite part!  Although I wasn’t really a fan of the running part, I could max out on push ups and sit ups all day.  I met some very cool people there, and there were a lot of assholes there too, but it was good times all the way!!!  Off to AIT after that, and I met some more amazing people.  A few I have stayed in contact with, even if it is through Facebook.  They are good people to have in my life.  We may not see eachother or talk very often, but we will be there for one another when we are needed.  I love my battle buddies!  Always will!!!

So with that, a little back history about my brief time in the service.  I know I signed my life away, even if it was temporary, but I still won’t claim it as my friends think I should.  It is they I thank for their service.  I thank those in my family who have served this country.  I thank every veteran I will never meet for their service, and I thank those who have yet to serve, because we all have that one thing in common.  We are and were willing to give our lives for the freedoms we have today.  Those freedoms may be dwindling a bit, but they’re still here, and we will still fight for them.  So alright, I guess for one day out of the year I’ll get over it and accept my position.   You’re welcome.  It was my pleasure to sign my life away for you, and I would do it again if necessary.  

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Thank you and good night! 🙂

-Bonnie

Just some good pics to check out below

   
    
    
    
   

2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: