Saturday, May 24, 2014

Celebrating and Remembering My Marines, Veterans and Military Families with a Book Project

It is Memorial weekend and in order for you to understand the present, you will need to look at the time past to understand the heart of an American Hero.  Take a closer look at the Marine Corp flag tipped forward.  Notice the ribbons mounted on the top.  They represent all the wars and conflicts the USA has been in since the beginning of our country.  Think of all the servicemen and women that have given their lives so you and I can live in the freedom and peace - paid in full.  Remember them in your hearts and minds.  Know there are warriors that stand in harms way at this very moment.  Some will join the halls of  heaven today for you.

I am honoring the memory of all those who have gone on before and all
my Veteran's and their families by introducing a book project to go along with  ":A Military Series - A Parent's Perspective".  The blog that you read will be coming in book form with a twist.

Through my painting series I have created stories so you can know what our Veterans and their families have experienced, so you can know their heart and gain understanding.  I marvel at their lives and have such a deep respect for all they do.

When near a base, I have an offer to all active duty service members and their families.  What I have observed is bases and even reserve units, are looking for ways to bring their military communities together.

So, what I would like to do is ask the active duty and families to see my presentation.  The next day, I will offer a Creative Workshop in which, the participants would choose one of my paintings whose story comes closest to their own experiences.  Based on their own personal experiences and how they were affected by creating a written or fine arts piece in the workshop.  I will judge the top 10 pieces and the participants (and can be open to the base) will in turn, choose the piece they would like to see published in my book.  Then, I will make available a shutterfly book that can be ordered for all who wish to order a copy.  These communities work hard and many times because of that work, do not have the ability to build their communities.

This is Memorial weekend and it is a time to reach beyond the comforts of picnics, mowing lawns and working in gardens.  I challenge all civilians who look at this weekend as a kick off to summer vacations to take time to honor all those who serve, have served and the families that have served quietly in the background of these true American Heroes.  The peace and freedom you live in today is because of our American Warriors who have sacrificed selflessly, even with their very own lives.

We Civilians take it for granted that we do not have to live in fear like the haunting face of the girl on National Geographic's June 1985 cover photo.  You and I have not had to live in a life filled with fear and destitution from a country's whose very soul has been pummeled by the ravages of war.

For the many of service men and women I have asked "Why serve?" and "What brought you to this decision to fight for America?".  The answer: "I wanted to make the world a better place", "I wanted to make a difference and here is where I can do just that", or  "I was called to serve my country".  There heart in all they have done since the beginning of this country in 1776 is, "I did this for you".

We live in a freedom that was paid for by the attitude that there is something far greater than ourselves to think about. So this Memorial day pull out your flag.  If your flag is old, replace it.  Retire your old ones respectfully by bringing it to a Watch Fire event near you.  In Central NY, the event will be at the NY State Fairgrounds - click into this link for more info .

What can you do to help honor our Veterans.  Remember them.  Go to a parade, walk through cemeteries filled with flags, a memorial service, a Watchfire event.  Watch the Veterans as the National Anthem is played.  Watch the salute and the flags they bear, the rifle salutes and look at their eyes.  Those eyes have seen more than we can imagine. They are remembering their brothers and those moments that have gone on before them.

If you know a Veteran that lives in your neighborhood, shake their hand.  Ask them if there is anything you can do for them.  Hire them if they are looking for a job, network with them and give a good recommendation.  If there is a military family that has moved in, welcome them.  Bring them into your world and let them know how special they are.  Wrap your arms around the families that have lost a son, daughter or spouse.  America, never forget those that have given you so much.  Hug a Gold Star Mom and keep their families in your heart.  I love my heroes.  You are free because of them.