Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day - A time to remember...and change

Memorial Day always stirs memories for me. I entered the service in 1978 while still in High School. When I deployed in mid-1979 there was a bit of turmoil in the world which eventually culminated in the Shah of Iran being deposed from power and 52 Americans being taken hostage by members of that country that overthrew the government.

In 1980 life swerved me to transfer from my ship the USS America on the East Coast, to the USS Ranger CV61 which was tied up in San Diego, CA and in September of 1980 left for the Indian Ocean. We were there on station when the hostage airplane left Iran following the swearing in of Ronald Reagan. Life was definitely exciting. We were bound by that mission and those of us who sailed in Ranger still remain in touch to this day.

My father served honorably during the Vietnam War and other conflicts that I shall not discuss here. He's a decorated hero that is now suffering from PTSD as many others are. The lack of care that this country bestows on its "Veterans" is pretty damned sad. I am one of them who is denied compensation and benefits for our "service" to this country of ours. The "government" really needs to extract its head from its backside and figure out how to fix this problem. We really deserve better. It's NOT all Bush's fault. Blaming him is like Blaming TheBurgerKing when you get a lousy whopper. Neither of them run the company!

We need to treat our people better and we need to remember those who fight to preserve the freedoms which we all love to enjoy. How can I say these things? Easily. I have lived overseas. I have seen what people think of this country and how they yearn to come here because we live so freely. They admire us, respect us, and love us. They know that the ones who fight do so out of obligation to the country. More people need to take what we have with a larger grain of salt than they do and understand that these freedoms that we all hold so preciously are paid for with the blood of their brothers and sisters in arms.

When you vote this year, remember that we do need to repair what has happened over the past few years. We need to protect ourselves, but at the same time we do not need to throw our people to the lions to make this country work.

God bless America, God bless all of our troops wherever they are stationed, and most of all, God bless their families who love and support them.

Michael Murdock, US NAVY DISABLED VETERAN