I wouldn’t consider myself a military brat, simply because throughout my lifetime, I have never truly felt the direct impacts of losing a loved one in the military.

Both of my grandfathers served our country in two different branches of the military at a very young age. My Grandfather, Don Ross – served as a pilot in the Air Force in the Philippines, in which time my mother was born in the small town they were living in at the time. My other grandfather, Lester Fowler served in the Navy within the times of the Vietnam War.

For many years, I have heard their stories and seen their pictures of the times they spent serving our country — never once complaining or speaking negatively about their experiences. Rather these conversations were based around the good times they had during their service for our country and the memories that were made in the locations in which they were stationed.

As Memorial Day approaches this year, and like every year — I have gained a greater understanding for Memorial Day and the honoring of fallen military members throughout the United States for America.

Members of the community, myself included, look forward to Memorial Day due to government and office buildings being closed.

Often times, people will celebrate the day with family gatherings or weekend trips to the beach — to receive their first small piece of summer before school is out. While all of these activities and trips are wonderful, I truly believe that the importance of Memorial Day is one that should be recognized more seriously.

The purpose of Memorial Day is to honor those who have died serving in the American Armed Forces. Therefore, why would we not strive to honor them in some sort of way?

I am forever thankful neither of my grandfathers were killed in the line of duty however, I know that is not the case for everyone.

Chances are someone you love, or someone you know has been affected by this type of tragedy in one way or another, and it is extremely important as American citizens to use this day, as a time of remembrance.

All of this doesn’t go to say that you can’t enjoy the one Monday off every year. Enjoy the time spent with your family, eat all of the Barbecue on the table – because believe me, I’ll be doing the same.

Enjoy your day by the pool, and relax as much as your heart desires – however, don’t just let Memorial Day pass by without thinking of it’s true meaning because someone, somewhere is mourning the loss of their loved one that laid his life on the line, for our freedom in the United States of America.