I would ask that each of you take a little bit of time out of the festivities to reflect on the sacrifices that the soldiers that died while on duty and actually all people that have served in the armed forces have made to allow us these freedoms. Please remember their families as well. The fallen soldiers leave husbands, wives, children, other family and friends behind and they need to deal with the loss each and every day.
Another way to honor the fallen soldiers is to donate to any number of great charities that help returning soldiers coming home from battle get back to a normal life as a civilian, current active duty military or the families of the fallen soldiers. Returning home from active duty and settling back into civilian life is not always easy especially with medical treatment advances many more soldiers come back to the states with life altering injuries. I have listed some charities below that help veterans and their families and I have supported most of them personally. Many of the charities have the option of making a recurring donation of a certain amount each month. This is a great option since you (the donor) do not even really feel the donation financially and the charity knows that it can project cash flow and continue to provide the services it does.
Wounded Warrior Project - https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families. On that date, America watched in horror as approximately 3,000 people died including hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers. Many warriors note a sense of duty to volunteer for the military following these tragic events.
USO - http://www.uso.org/
Millions of times each year at hundreds of locations around the world, the USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and President of the United States, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the USO.
Veterans of Foreign Wars - http://www.vfw.org/
The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves.- read more at http://www.vfw.org/Common/About-Us/
Fisher House Foundation - https://www.fisherhouse.org/
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. - read more at https://www.fisherhouse.org/about/
Fallen Heroes Fund - https://www.fallenheroesfund.org/About-IFHF.aspx
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is a leader in supporting the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. Begun in 2000 and established as an independent not-for-profit organization in 2003, the Fund has provided close to $150 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. These efforts are funded entirely with donations from the public, and hundreds of thousands of individuals have contributed to the Fund.
The five organizations listed above are just a few of the many charities doing great work and if you have a particular passion and want to help just do an internet search and see what is out there.
I hope everyone had a fun and safe weekend and enjoyed the time with family and friends.
United States Navy, USS Wichita AOR-1, San Francisco, California
Boatswain Mate 3rd Class - (October 1987 - May 1990) – Honorable Discharge