Guest Editorial: A salute to our troops

Guest Editorial: A salute to our troopsBy JAYME KINARD, News Review Correspondent

As Independence Day approaches, most people will be celebrating with a day off of work and a fireworks show at night. The 4th of July is an extremely important day in our nation’s past; the anniversary of the day the United States’ adopted the Declaration of Independence and the United States became a new nation.

This year will be my first year celebrating Independence Day as a military spouse, and I can tell you it is quite different for me this year. Independence Day is not only a day to celebrate our country, but also a day to pay tribute to our military community. It is because of our military members’ and veterans’ commitment and dedication to serving our country that we get to enjoy the freedoms we so often take advantage of.

Every morning, my husband and I watch the morning news while getting ready for work. While I watched the news last week, my heart broke when I saw a story about seven sailors of the USS Fitzgerald who’d passed away because of an incident where their ship collided with another.

While my husband was attached to a ship, there were months where I didn’t get to see him, and often days and weeks I couldn’t speak to him at all. The ship leaves and you’re expected for your life to just continue as if nothing’s changed. I know what it is like to sit at home, waiting for an e-mail or a phone call to hear that everything is OK and ultimately for him to return home.

When the USS Fitzgerald collided with another ship, it was on the news almost immediately, and I know that minutes must’ve felt like a lifetime for the families at home waiting to hear from their loved ones on board. Each one of those sailors who lost their lives had parents, spouses, children and friends who were waiting for them to return home, just as so many of us have before.

When you aren’t directly connected to someone who is in the military, you hear about incidents in the news, like missions and fatalities, but it is difficult to understand the magnitude of the sacrifices our military makes for our well-being. Our troops don’t have the luxury of working 9 to 5. They don’t get to call out for a sick day. They can’t always take a vacation. They go to work every day, sometimes working countless hours, leaving their families behind, sometimes in dangerous places, and it can be extremely difficult for those members and their families.

After hearing the story of the USS Fitzgerald, I wished there was something I could do to help. I want to recognize those families and their sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation. I think I speak for many people when I say that we are mourning this loss with you.

As for the rest of the military community, I wanted to recognize you as well. The “military lifestyle” is not an easy one by any means. Your limits are tested, situations are difficult, and all you can do is stick together and keep moving forward. Sincerely, I salute you, and say thank you to all of those who serve and protect our freedom as we enjoy this 4th of July.

Pictured: Jayme and Justin Kinard

Story First Published: 2017-06-30