Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day

As the long holiday weekend kicks off, I wanted to take the time to reflect on Memorial Day. Most of the readers of this blog are probably aware that Memorial Day was created to honor the men and women who have served in the US military. I seriously doubt that anyone high school age and under knows that, to them Memorial Day is just another day off from school. I don't blame them, I blame their parents. People like me who never took the time to tell their kids what Memorial Day is about. Sometimes a parent can learn from their child as my wife and I did.

My son, Joel, was one of those kids that was never inspired to do well in school, because he did not like it. He did well when he was tested on end of year tests and on the SAT, so he had the brains just not the motivation. His best friend Saul, had decided at an early age to go into the military as soon as he turned 18. After 9/11 Saul started badgering Joel to join the military with him. Joel never mentioned anything to his mom and I until his senior year in high school 2 years later. After many hours of heated debate, we reluctantly decided to sign the papers to let him enlist. (Joel was only 17 when he graduated so we had to sign before he could join.) To make a long story short he left the Marines after 4 years as a Sargent. He had received 3 Purple Hearts and numerous other medals and accolades. While we had several terrifying moments receiving a phone call from the US Government telling us he had been injured, thankfully none were serious. After 4 years he came home with all of his limbs and with a new out look on life.

For most kids that would have been the end of the story, but once again Joel decided to surprise us. One of the things he got out of the Marines was discipline, after hanging around for a year after getting out of the Marines he decided to go to college. While attending college he decided that he wanted to become a pilot. After looking at all of his options he joined the ROTC for the Air Force deciding it was the best and cheapest way to learn to fly. Joel is once again excelling at his duties and has been given several scholarships by the ROTC to get through school. Right now he is in Alabama attending an officer training school. Making his parents proud once again.

This Memorial Day as I think about the veterans I have known over the years, the one that makes me the proudest is the kid that used to blow of his homework and play video games, the one that argued with me about taking the garbage out or walking the dog. So mom and dads remember they may not always listen to you or agree with you, but they can still turn out to be kids that you will be proud to say are yours.

Love you Joel keep being you and you will go far. And happy Memorial Day!

Joel and his girlfriend Meghan McCloskey.

PS For those of you wondering I have not been posting lately because my camera died in a big way. The local camera repair shop could not fix it and they have sent it to the manufacturer to see if it can be repaired. I should know the verdict on Tuesday. Hopefully, within a week after that I will have it back or I will will have a new one.

PSS Just so no one can say I ignored food in this food blog. Here is a link to my favorite side dishes that would be perfect for a Memorial Day picnic. Baked Potato Salad and Barbecued Baked Beans.


  1. A very timely, heartfelt and beautifully written post. Thank you for sharing and reminding us about what this holiday weekend is all about, afterall. I'm glad good things are happening for your son and you sound like you're beaming with pride. Have a safe and good holiday weekend.

  2. Thank you for a lovely post and thank you to your son for his service. All the blessings!

  3. What a beautiful tearful story but a happy ending and a first.I havent read many. Thank God for good news for you and your family.. I am sure proud doesn't touch on have of what the feelings our for your admiration of this young mans accomplishments, what an outstanding young man, I wish him all the best and happiness life holds....thanks for posting it brings things back into reality :) good bless and keep you all safe. Claudia

  4. and they say kids turn out worthless - seems like pappa and mamma did something right ... thanks for the meaningful post and only the best for you and family

  5. Thanks for adding me as a friend on Foodbuzz--so happy to see this post. The young men and women who serve (and have served our country) are not given enough recognition; this is an issue that is so important to me. Thanks for having a son like yours protect us! :-)

  6. So fortunate he got home safely. He is a very handsome young man and I bet he'll go far, too!