If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. – MLK

For most military members, the return home from deployment is marked with celebrations, relief and fun.

Not always.fullsizeoutput_312c

The National Cemetary in Phoenix is near my home, and is where I have spent countless hours tending their gardens, and paying respects to the fallen, to those making the ultimate sacrifice.

I wish I could put into words what it feels like to hear TAPS playing.  I wish I could make the mom of a 23 year old son, feel better.

I can’t.fullsizeoutput_3086

But I can be there to let them know they are not alone.

There is nothing quite like the honor and prestige of a military funeral. The ceremonies reflect rank, length of service, branch of service, and family preference. Our local Chaplain speaks to the family with this poem.  I hope it resonates with you as well.

Miss Me But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road,                                                                                   And the sun has set for me,                                                                                                         I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.                                                                                Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little-but not too long,                                                                                          And not with your head bowed low.                                                                       Remember the love that we once shared.                                                                           Miss me-but let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take.                                                                        And each must go alone.                                                                                                          This is all part of the Master’s plan,                                                                                               A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart,                                                                                 Go to the friends we know,                                                                                                     And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,                                                                    Miss me, but let me go.

This weekend is Memorial Day.  Celebrate, as you should.  

It is what they would want. fullsizeoutput_2cf4

Just keep them on your mind, say their names, and let the families know they are not forgotten.

Wind Kisses, Donna

Inspired by Dutch Goes the Photo