I will be the first to admit that it took me through the better part of high school to understand the true mean of Memorial Day. As a kid, all it meant was that school was coming to an end. The day I left for the military it all changed.“All gave some but some gave all.”

I didn’t make a single friend in those three and a half years I spent in the Army. I made family. On Memorial Day I honor those who God called home too early. Those who sucked up those tears as they walked away from their families – just like I did – but never returned home.

That’s what car dealerships, and Walmart and all these other stores don’t understand when they promote their “Memorial Day Events”. They don’t understand the pain we feel on Memorial Day. The prayers we say for our fallen brothers and sister, some of whom we have never met. I may not walk into work on Monday but I can assure you that I don’t have the day off.

Chris Doyle, Kamien Stanford, and Jeremy Tomlin were my brothers and they changed my life. The world is a better place for every moment they walked this earth along with the thousands of others that have gone before them. Now they stand guard from above. Now they live through us.

Don’t thank me for my service on a Memorial Day. Pray for the families of our fallen. Pray for those who gave their lives so you could have the day off to barbecue.

Rest Easy. You are NEVER forgotten.

I will have a cigar and beer for you under the flag tomorrow.

SGT NATALE