Remembering to Remember
By Brenton Crozier
In living with a two year old, SpongeBob rules the domestic airwaves. Additionally, the margin I once used to hit up my favorite news websites has diminished to near nonexistence. So it’s this out of touch cavern that I reside in and to be honest, it’s not all that bad. Frustration spawned from political insanity and the daily global chaos has been replaced by the antics of an underwater world ruled by Krabby Patties. But one of the pitfalls of unplugging like this is reaching a comfort level with omitting certain things that should never be dismissed from my daily stream of consciousness.
We are a nation at war and a day set aside for remembrance is upon us. And while Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have fallen in service to their country, it seems to have grown into a day to recognize all who serve. Our troops are gone for well over a year at a time and on multiple deployments. This recently re-dawned on me when I took a short trip to see family in Massachusetts and found myself getting homesick and missing my daughter after mere days of being away. I also grew up in a military home, so returning to see family is a nice reminder of the military way of life. Believe me, there is no shortage of Marine Corps insignias throughout my father’s home. Oo-Rah! Anyway, this was all a sobering reminder that thousands of men and women are overseas working to keep us safe and protect our country. I can’t imagine being away from home for more than a week.
And it goes beyond missing my daughter. I think of the proverbial comfort of sleeping in one’s own bed. The safety of familiar surroundings, and surroundings where people aren’t shooting at you. I think of the convenience of accessing whatever it is that I want in a matter of minutes. And most of all, being with family and friends. This is why it feels so important that we do memorialize those who have served and celebrate those that are serving now. They are more than willing to sacrifice, sacrifice silently, steadfastly.
It makes me think of all of the military communities, the bases, across the country that exist as a sort of microcosm. I understand the security precedent, but I think it contributes to the separation and complacency that grows for people that live outside of it. If you don’t watch 24-hour news cycles, you are no longer forced to think about it, or even sacrifice for it unless you are serving or have family serving.
There are military bases throughout the country. They have their own schools, grocery stores, entertainment options, but since the security measures taken after 9-11, exist in their own bubble. State of the Re:Union would like to explore one of these communities the same way we examine the cities and towns that we visit. What are the ways they are bringing community together? What challenges do they face? How pivotal are cultural concerns?
Have any ideas? Do you know of a unique community on a base that you live on or used to live on? What are some of the different ways they bring community together on military bases? We would love to hear from you. And even more than exploring the community on a military base, it’s the recognition that we couldn’t maintain the lifestyle we do as a society, as a country without the brave men and women of our military.
So until we find that military community that we can feature, I’ve looked into other ways of reaching out, in playing a part and of course, memorializing. There are a number of fantastic organizations that approach aiding the military in various ways and I’m personally going to donate to Homes for Troops. This organization builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans.
What organizations would you suggest? We’re looking forward to your feedback. And for those that have served, currently serve and all of their family members, thank you.