Boots On The Ground
Flags at half mast....
The deaths of five military recruiters had the American flag flying at half mast in July 2015.
How long did it take for five more American military to die when the flag was no longer flying at half mast?
My guess is that it did not take very long, and that is the sad part.
Let me explain. When the Chattanooga, Tennessee killings took place, they seemed and were senseless, the misguided act of a malguided man. We heard about those deaths in large part because they occurred here at home and the personnel could not defend themselves.
When the next five deaths occurred on the battlefield or in training....indeed anywhere service personnel died while on active duty, or from an original cause which happened while serving on active duty, the flag did not fly at half mast to similarly acknowledge those men and women.
Perhaps we should be more conscious of these ongoing sacrifices and only fly the flag at full staff on days when no servicemen and servicewomen die the previous day. Frankly, I doubt there would ever be such a day, at least not until world peace is realized, and even then not until many active duty and retired military have passed on.
Perhaps, if we had done so, we could all have better recognized the tremendous sacrifices our military and their families make in their service to, and sacrifices for, our country.
After World War I, and ever since that time a group called American Gold Star Mothers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Star_Mothers_Club) has worked to honor and support mothers and fathers who have lost a child during their period of active military service. Their efforts have led to a service banner families can hang in their window featuring blue stars for children serving in the military, and gold stars for such children who have died as a consequence of their military service.
If nothing else, we need to better recognize what such service banners represent, and also recognize the service this organization gives to our veterans in hospitals across the USA, and to each other in coping with their loss.
As this was written, some 1,300 eligible parents were current members of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc a 501-C nonprofit organization. Many, many more parents are eligible to join in their efforts and activities.
Honoring those who honor us by their service.
© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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