Sunday, May 25, 2014

In loving memory on Memorial Day

Every memorial day I think of friends who died while serving in the military. I also think of all of my friends and family who served or are serving.

Imagine leaving your friends and family for six to eight months. It's not easy. Add wartime situations. Add difficulties at home. The list could go on and on. I served in the US Navy and I know that in other branches time away from the US could be much longer, especially if someone was stationed abroad. People serve for different reasons, typically deeply personal reasons.

Every Memorial Day, and many other times throughout the year, I think of Robert Stethem. We both were serving in the US Navy in 1985. He was a little older than me, and a US Navy Seal. A beautiful man, in many ways.  In June of that year he was heading back from a work assignment in Greece when his flight was hijacked by a group of Hezbollah terrorists. He was beaten, murdered, and then his body was dumped from the plane onto the tarmac at the Beirut airport.

He was 23.

Whenever I am at the Arlington National Cemetery I visit his grave.

Another person I especially think of on Memorial Day, and a lot throughout the year, is Steve Voigt. Also a US Navy Seal as well as someone I loved very much. Steve and I became friends through his brother, we all served at the same time. I deployed once with Steve and that deployment was so much more fun because of him. I will always be grateful for his friendship. Steve decided to make the Navy a career. In October of 1986 he was killed in a helicopter crash in the Persian Gulf. He was such a bright, loving light.

We all know people who have served.

To all of you who have served, thank you.

To all of you serving right now, thank you.

In loving memory of Robert Stethem and Steve Voigt.

Thanks for reading.

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