Whenever I reflect on my life’s regrets, there is always the same one at the top of the list. It’s also probably the only thing which isn’t frivolous in nature. I regret not joining the military when I had the opportunity. The sad part is there wasn’t just a single opportunity, I could have enlisted at any time over the course of the last decade and a half.
When I was 18 years-old, a Navy recruiter got a hold of me and brought me into the office. He didn’t glamorize anything. He was straight with me. There was only one condition: I had to lose about 80 pounds. This is what disgusts me the most when I look back on my squandered opportunity. It was complete selfishness and laziness.
It wasn’t until my mid 20s that this began to bother me. At the same time I could have buckled down and gotten into shape, I still didn’t, and I still was wishing I did. To me, my laziness is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever done. Millions of men and women more brave than I have not let anything stand in their way to serve their country proudly.
I have no shame in admitting that I cry at the Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day parades. I get choked up when the National Anthem is played. And I get misty and sorrowful when I see wounded service men and women.
Today is one of the most important day’s of remembrance we celebrate. It is also one of the least solemn and that is just as tragic as each service member’s death. Wives lose their husbands, children lose their parents, and parents lose their children. Today it is incumbent upon each of us to be thankful they were willing to lay down their lives so that we may live free.