To many of us, Memorial Day Weekend is a time to kick-off summer with BBQs, parties and family get togethers. But while we’re tossing frisbees, playing horse shoes, filling up the kiddie pool and making sure the cooler is stocked, let’s not forget all of those families who are spending Memorial Day in a different way: grieving for their fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, uncles, aunts and cousins who lost their lives, their limbs, their eye-sight or their ability to walk and talk, serving our country and protecting our freedoms.

As a mom of three whose husband often comes home late from work only to have time to help with bedtime and then is off again early in the morning, I can’t imagine having my husband  deployed for months or years at a time. The soldiers who serve our country do not just risk their lives for us, they sacrifice every day by missing the births of their children, milestones, first lost teeth, holidays, graduations and things many of us take for granted: like reading a bedtime story, kissing a boo boo, or changing a diaper.

So today, instead of writing a blog about an experience I haven’t had, I’ll simply say this: Thank you for the sacrifices you make to support the soldiers you love and thanks to the soldiers themselves for the work they do to keep American civilians safe and free.

Are you a military family? How are you celebrating Memorial Day? And since I don’t have an appropriate picture to post of a Military Family for this blog, please feel free to share yours. We salute you!