Dog tags. For years they were always with me. Day and night, dangling over my heart. I don’t know what became of them once I took off my uniform for the last time. I kept them for a while but they were lost somewhere, some time ago, in a move from here to there.
Mine were from the Vietnam era, the 1960s and 70s. We didn’t have the fancy silencers on ours that they have today, those little coverings around the edges that keep them quiet. Ours did tend to clink together, easily giving away your position if you were trying to be stealthy.
They always give you two of them, you know. One stays with your body and the other goes back for the identification record.
I’m mentioning all of this because in the United States, we are going to celebrate Memorial Day this weekend. I know many other countries have a similar day when they pause to reflect upon the sacrifices that brave men and women have made to keep others free.
Let us remember not only those who gave their lives, but those who lost their lives in other ways when they came back so damaged that they are now homeless and unable to adjust to civilian life.
The wounds of war run deep and can be so very hard to close.
How many of you have suffered the loss of a family member or close friend? How many of you have memorabilia, like dog tags, or a flag, or medals? Do you have a story to tell?
With deep love and respect,