A message from the JFVA President:
This weekend in May is what some call the “start of summer.” It’s the time of long weekends, vacations, and BBQs. However, for those of us who have served overseas in a combat zone, this is “Memorial Day”, once known as “Remembrance Day”. I will kindly correct people when I hear them say “Happy Memorial Day.” That is not what this day is all about. We should all “Honor” Memorial Day as we remember our brothers and sisters who have made the last full measure of devotion, giving the ultimate sacrifice for this great country of ours!
We veterans have a saying we use… “All gave some, and some gave all.”
Just as our military fathers before us, we too left our families with the noble objective of securing and protecting liberty and freedoms for others. This Memorial Day and every Memorial Day, I remember a good military friend that I served with back when was with the 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment). It is hard to believe that over 21 years ago Sergeant Phil Svitak gave his life during Operation Enduring Freedom at the battle of Taku Ghar, a bloody encounter with the Taliban. My friend Phil gave the ultimate sacrifice for us, and our freedoms. What a true testimony of service, sacrifice, and commitment, the “real meaning” of Memorial Day. I encourage you to read about this battle where I lost my good friend Phil, here.
We veterans took an oath to support and defend the great United States of America, against all enemies, foreign, and domestic. We must continue to seek how we can serve our fellow veteran brothers and sisters as well as our military families and communities, especially in these problematic and challenging times. It is the primary reason I started a veteran hockey team (Joint Forces Hockey), and our nonprofit (Joint Forces Veterans Alliance). These remarkable organizations enable us, to support our brethren and their families when they need us the most.
So, let us “Honor” Memorial Day, instead of going camping, buying sale items, or grilling on the BBQ. Take a moment as an American, and visit a national cemetery, show your children and grandchildren who the real American heroes are. They did not wear a jersey and play a sport… no, they stood upon freedom’s rampart so that others could have their freedom to enjoy that game.
Honor, patriotism, and sacrifice... Always!
Have a blessed “Remembrance Day” weekend.
- J. Searcy
JFVA President and Founder