For Those Who Never Made It Back Home

I remember watching helplessly as the motorcade escorting the body of a young soldier killed in Afganistan made its way through the streets of a nearby town. I remember how his photo rightfully graced the front page of the local paper. Such a beautiful young life, extinguished after just 20 years. As I watched the procession, my thoughts always went back to his family, now dealing with such an unimaginable loss.

With a heart full of sadness, I remember the unfairness of this tragedy. Hell, he was just 20 years old. His life left tragically unfinished. So much more left to do. So much more yet to become.

On this Memorial Day I am again humbly reminded of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many, each life cut tragically short, each life left painfully unfinished.

Each of us has been given something these lost servicemen and servicewomen haven’t. Time. Time to allow our lives to fully unfold. Time to become all we were created to become.

From this perspective, I reflect upon how it is I spend the time I’ve been given. Are my actions moving me towards fulfilling my own greatest promise or am I simply wasting the time so many others never had the chance to waste?

A great price has been paid for my personal freedoms and liberties, a price I can never pay back. What I can do is lead a life of gratitude, respect, service, and dignity, offering my contributions to the people of the nation they died trying to protect.

It’s the least I can do for those who never made it back home.

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