One for Throwback Thursday. Taken in August 1996 while in the Persian Gulf conducting Operation Desert Strike. The ‘island’ of the massive aircraft carrier and F/A-18 Hornet and EA-6B Prowler aircraft are silhouetted by the rising sun.
Combat operations were taking place against Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein’s genocidal attacks against Kurds in nation’s north. Tensions were further heightened by the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia two months before that killed 19 U.S. service members.
For those that don’t know, I served six years in the +U.S. Navy primarily working on the electronics on S-3B Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Lots of stories from those days and I am proud to have served my nation.
Thornton Veterans Memorial, Colorado . This local veterans memorial is one that is particularly special to me as I was chairman of the group that worked for years to fund and build it.
In the foreground you see the winged angel, ‘Grace’, releasing a dove carrying dog tags aloft. In the background you see the flag poles and in between them is a 9′ 11″ high five-sided obelisk. On it are inscribed core values of United States military service: Honor, Integrity, Sacrifice, Duty, Courage.
I went to Fort Logan National Cemetery this morning to see my dad as well as thousands of others of our nation’s heroes. Memorial Day is, in my opinion, one of the most important holidays in the United States.
So many have served and sacrificed for this great nation. My dad, my uncles, my nieces and nephews and I have all proudly worn our nation’s uniforms.
We all have come home. So many do not. It is for these men and women, those who gave that ‘last full measure of devotion’ that Memorial Day is for.