On a normal day for us, we wake up, have breakfast and get dressed in something we hope is reasonable. We turn the music up loud on the way to work, nearly chugging that second cup of coffee while praying not to hit a pothole. We sit at a desk or somewhere familiar and stagnant for six to eight hours, habitually glancing at the clock and imagining the sands of an hourglass slipping away.
And sometimes we forget how lucky- how protected- we are.
On a normal day for them, they wake up and make their beds (those who are fortunate to sleep in beds) first before having breakfast; then they get dressed in uniform. Many of them don't have a morning commute, living and completing their duties on a base far, far away, and when they do have to drive somewhere they are worried about hitting something far worse than any pothole. The sands of time are literal for them, stretching for months, maybe years.
Who are they? They are our defenders, overseas and engaged in jobs that aren't simply jobs. For most of them, it is a calling and a way of life. We are put at ease by their protective service, because the greatest ease for them is in knowing that they are keeping us safe.
With Memorial Day and its services over until next year, we go back to our usual routines. As there should be, there will be other holidays in honor of those who serve, have served, and have given the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America and the continued wellbeing of its people-their friends, families and communities. We are their proudest legacy, just as they are ours.
Let's try something different for a change. Each time we're at work and we happen to cast a glance at the clock, let's think of our brave defenders instead of the hours left until we can return home. Their commute home (and we pray they make it home safely) will come far later and be far more hectic. It's not simply a job that takes them half the world over or farther it's a duty, a sacrifice, a calling.
It may not seem like we can do a lot for these people who have already given and continue to give, but we can. There are many charitable organizations dedicated to sending care packages to our overseas protectors. Don't forget that, although their basic needs are essentially met, a care package can do so much more.
We can send them items of comfort, things that remind them of home, perhaps favorite foods or articles of clothing. There are rules and regulations to what can be sent, but even with those guidelines we can still deliver a great deal.
So maybe the next time we look at the clock and see that it's time to leave work, we'll go home and, instead of sitting behind our computers for leisure, we'll research a few of those various groups seeking not to bring our troops home, but rather bring little slices of home to our troops.