Monday, May 29, 2006

Remembering Those Who Gave ALL.....

Today is Memorial Day. Today, like thousands of other Americans, I will be spending the day with family grilling steaks, corn and baking potatoes. I will have a couple of Mike's Hard Lemonade and swim in my in-laws new pool. We will all enjoy our day off and relish in our freedom.

Before that happens I wanted to take the time (as I usually do) to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. This year I am reminded of SFC Paul Smith who is the Global War on Terrorism's (GWOT) only Medal of Honor recipient.

I had read about SFC Smith several months ago. I was moved to tears reading his story. However yesterday's paper carried a story about his mother, his wife and another mother. This really touched me how these mom's could see their son's desire to serve their country and give all they have for us. Here is Janice Pvirre's story. Here is a small quote:

Janice Pvirre will be at Arlington in person. She will join the other "Gold Star Mothers," those who have lost children in combat, to lay a wreath and to say a prayer at a white marker engraved with the emblem of this nation's highest military honor.

Her son, Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, died in a dusty courtyard outside Baghdad, fatally wounded in a furious firefight while showing "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity ... above and beyond the call of duty" _ a sacrifice that made him the only service member awarded the Medal of Honor in the Iraq war.

Among those Sgt. Smith's actions saved: Dan Richardson, who has recently married and himself been promoted to sergeant.

That knowledge is both a blessing and a burden, for one mother to know that any milestone she will celebrate with her son _ a birthday, a holiday, the birth of a child _ was made possible by another mother's loss.

I highly encourage you to read about Paul Smith and his family. Here is the Army's link for Paul's story. Get the tissue first.

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