Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!!!

I love Memorial Day. I grew up in a very patriotic family and we always celebrated patriotic holidays in style. When I was a kid, my dad would gather us together on days like Memorial Day so that we could hang the flag on the center tree in our front yard. He would call us downstairs and then we'd all line up, march outside, watch while he hung it up, and then we'd all do our best salute. We always had fun doing that with my dad . . . I love memories like that.

My dad served our country after he graduated high school by serving in the Air Force. I don't know all of his assignments while in the service but I know that, for a while, he was a dental assistant. As many airmen did, he had to pull the night shift at the infirmary a few times and, on those nights, he and his fellow airmen would bring a piece of fruit with them to eat in case they got hungry. One night, their snacks disappeared. The next night, same thing. They determined that the civilian staff was lifting their fruit so they concocted a plan . . . one night, they injected the fruit with novocaine and left it out. Sure enough, the next morning it was gone. Needless to say, they never had anymore problems with civilians taking their food! I would LOVE to have heard the thief's call to work to let them know he would not be making it in that day . . . it's hard enough to talk when the dentist just deadens ONE side of your mouth!! I bet he was slurping drool for a week.

I have so much respect for the men and women who serve our country because they put their lives on the line for each and every one of us, even though they've never met us. That's a pretty remarkable thing. But that's not the only reason for my admiration. I also respect them because, frankly people, I would not last a DAY in the military.

First, I can't do push ups. And I don't think that any branch of the military would allow me to do girl push ups and quit after doing 5. Plus, I doubt that my superiors would encourage me through them by telling me that I'm amazing like the guy on my workout video does.

Second, I hate running. I become keenly aware of all the jiggling and worry about how long it will take for the jiggling to stop. I can't IMAGINE having to run long distances, with a huge backpack on my back, while being forced to echo back a song. Add a few stops in there for some push-ups and you've got my own personal Hell.

Third, I need positive re-enforcement. If someone got in my face and started yelling, I would just cry. I mean, one of my love languages is words of affirmation . . . drill sergeants probably don't really care about what your love language is. If I didn't cry, I would probably raise my eyebrows and go passive aggressive on him and that would no doubt make the situation worse. Plus, when someone's up in your face like that, the chances of spit hitting you in your face is pretty good. If that happened, I would NOT be able to remain nonchalant.

Fourth, I'm not a morning person. The first time I had to get up at 4 am to a bugle, I would go AWOL. I mean, I grew up with my mom waking me up with breakfast in bed and my dad giving me "5 more minutes" as many times as I asked. Currently I wake up to an alarm set to a country station, after hitting the snooze button 5 times. Something tells me this would be unacceptable in the service.

Fifth, I would NOT be a good soldier if captured. The second someone threatened to cut off any part of my body, I would sing like a bird. This is not what the military is looking for . . .

Soooooooooooooooooo my parents didn't raise girls who could hack it in the military but they made pride in our country part of the tapestry of our lives so that we each swell with pride when honoring those who serve our country. I'm so thankful for the men and women who sacrifice their time, energy, and sometimes lives to keep us safe. I will endeavor to be a life WORTHY of saving . . . as long as I can sleep in.


Emma said...

Excellent, excellent! People just don't use words such as 'endeavor', or phrases such as 'swell with pride' often enough....and thanks for the memories of Dad!

Unknown said...

At some point didn't we march while one or two of you played the flute? Dad loved to tell that story the fruit! As always, a great way to start the day.

Catherine said...

I think I DO remember something about flutes. Tammy and I probably played the flute and Erin probably got out her drum pad. Ta Ta Tippy Tippy Ta . . .

Phyllis Eddings said...

Amen, sister! ( to all of it. I would be equally unfit for duty)

Unknown said...

3 comments I must make.
1. Great story about your Dad! LOVED IT! Thanks!
2. I can just see some guy yelling in your face and all you can do is put your fingernails in your mouth and wimper.

Catherine said...

Awwwwwww . . . that was sweet, Diana!! I have a single tear JUST for you! :)