Tuesday, February 02, 2010

For LCpl Damas and LCpl Olvera

I grew up in the 1960's and 70's. The Vietnam War was in full swing. It wasn't a "popular" war, and for some people, that unpopularity flowed over onto our military. We've all heard the stories of returning servicemen being spit on, called "baby killers," and treated with disdain. Even though the War and our servicemen and women were "unpopular," the American public still supported those who were missing-in-action or who were prisoners-of-war. We proudly bought and wore our metal POW-MIA bracelets, hoping that the person with the name we wore on our wrists would make it home safely. I had one. "My" serviceman didn't come home. As far as I know, he's still MIA.

Today, while the War against Terrorism might not be popular, it is necessary. I believe the American public knows this. I believe that's why we "support our troops." We all recognize that our fighting men and women stand between us and those who would harm us, our country, and our way of life. It is only fitting that we honor these men and women who give so much for us. There are a number of things we can to do give our military their due; volunteering for Soldier's Angels, sending packages to "Any Soldier," donating to charities that support the families of those who gave their lives, or by simply saying "thank you" to anyone you see in uniform.

My Marine Son has pointed out another way to honor those who have given all; a memorial bracelet. These bracelets are similar to the POW-MIA bracelets of the '70s. Like those bracelets, a memorial bracelet is a simple way to keep the sacrifice of those who "gave all" in the forefront of our minds. They're a way to remember. You can order a memorial bracelet at MemorialBracelets.com. You can order a bracelet with the name of someone you know, someone from your hometown, or home state. You can order a bracelet to memorialize someone who gave their life in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam; or someone who was the victim of terrorism. It's not hard to order, and wearing the bracelet is another way to show support for our military.

I ordered two bracelets today. I ordered them to remember two young men that I didn't know. I may not have known these young men, but I will honor them forever; not only because they gave their lives for this wonderful country, but because they served with my son. He knew them. He said they were "good kids." He mourns them. So to honor him, and to honor them, my husband and I will proudly wear these bracelets in memory of LCpl Leopold F. Damas of Floral Park, New York, who was 26 years old when he died in Afghanistan on the 17th of August 2009, and for LCpl Javier Olvera of Palmdale, California, who was only 20 years old when he died in Afghanistan on the 8th of August, 2009. May God Bless them both, and may God Bless their families.

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