Every November 11, we take a moment to remember the veterans that have so honorably served this country and fight for the freedom we enjoy. I am the daughter of a United States Marine, three of my uncles all served in the US Army and throughout my family history, members of my family have served the United States in every war and conflict until the Gulf War, including the Revolutionary War and the Texas Revolution - most of this generation in my family consists of girls. Because of the long family history of military service to this country, I have a great respect and appreciation for all those serving this great nation.
In more recent years, when Veteran's Day comes around, I think of another - Sgt. Michael Luke Boatright died in service to his country in Iraq on December 4, 2004. He left behind his wife and childhood sweetheart, Desty and their three children Colton, Tanna and Zoie. Luke was only a few weeks away from discharge and was making plans for when he returned home to Texas when a roadside bomb blew up in his face.
I will never forget the morning the Army showed up at his father's home - across the street from mine. It was only a matter of minutes before the tragic news was all over the neighborhood. This is a small neighborhood and everybody knows everybody - everybody knew Luke. My family and the entire neighborhood mourned for his family. This was particularly tragic because it was so soon after the death of Luke's sister, Candy.
We lowered our flag to half staff until after his funeral. My heart broke for his wife - she was inconsolable. They had been together since they were kids and she was now left with three children to raise alone. I cried for his parents that had buried not just one, but two children, in a short period of time. No parent should have to go through that even one time and to have to deal with that kind of loss twice - I cannot even begin to imagine the pain they suffered.
Four years later and the saddness still looms. So today, remember those that serve this great nation and sacrifice so much. There are a lot of Luke Boatrights out there. This sad account is close to my heart, but there are thousands more. Remember that the soldiers are not the only ones sacrificing - their families are sacrificing too. Some are giving everything.
TO THOSE THAT SERVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
WITH ALL MY HEART!
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