Honoring heroes at home and away

Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 21, 2015

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sap. When it comes to consuming any form of entertainment — literature, news stories, blogs, videos, radio commercials, what have you — it doesn’t take much to make me cry.

Of all the videos and stories that bring me to tears, the surest way to melt my heart is to show me a video of a soldier’s homecoming.

No matter how many videos I watch, the surprised look on loved ones’ faces when they see military members safe and sound never gets old. The utter joy these people can’t help but express when they run across a football field or shout out in delight is so telling, as it’s reflective of the pain and worry felt during their family members’ absence.

This weekend, Americans will celebrate the brave soldiers of our country with picnics, barbecues, parades and memorials. We will pay our respects to active duty soldiers, veterans and those we have lost, and they are so very deserving of this honor.

In true American fashion, this Memorial Day most of us will enjoy an extra day off work to take a breather, and most importantly, spend time with family and celebrate all this country has to offer.

I couldn’t think of a better way to pay respect to our nation’s heroes and the sacrifices they have made in order to uphold our freedom and protect our country.

When we celebrate these men and women with our family and friends, we celebrate not only the soldiers, but the brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, husbands and wives left behind to worry and carry on their day-to-day lives while their loved ones are at seas. In my opinion, while not on the same front lines as the military members fighting overseas, those left behind on the home front are also courageous, and very deserving of recognition.

As you enjoy the extra day off with food and fellowship, I urge you to keep in mind the daughters and sons racing across the basketball court to see the parents they’ve missed, the little girl on Santa’s knee wishing only for her father to be home for Christmas, the mothers and fathers working hard as temporary single parents while their partners are away.

Think of these people, and be thankful your own loved ones are right here at home.


Ambrosia Neldon is the managing editor at Leader Publications. She can be reached by phone at (269) 687-7713, or by email at ambrosia.neldon@leaderpub.com.