It is easier, on Memorial Day, to remember to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives when their country called.
We have the time and the prompting to honor that sacrifice when attending Memorial Day services or enjoying a Memorial Day barbecue or seeing Old Glory flying all over town.
It becomes more difficult to keep those sacrifices in mind when everyday concerns, from keeping the gas tank full to paying rent, keep getting in the way.
The fact remains, however, that the men and women who put their lives on the line in the service of this country do so every day, no matter what else is happening in their lives.
As Lt. Col. Brent Stricker said during the service at Joshua Tree Memorial Park Monday, “They didn’t go to war because they loved fighting. They were called to be part of something bigger than themselves.”
It is incumbent on all of us to honor their sacrifices by doing whatever we can do to help them by supporting the organizations that help make their lives easier.
There are many such organizations in the Morongo Basin alone. There’s SOS, which provides free rides from Palm Springs airport to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center for service men and women returning from leave. For information, visit www.sosride.org or call (760) 799-5488. There’s Mil-Tree, whose mission is to bring together veterans, active-duty military and civilians through arts and dialogue. For information, visit www.mil-tree.org.
And of course there are the longstanding chapters of national organizations: the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society of 29 Palms (760-830-6323); the Women Marines Association in Twentynine Palms (760-367-6187 or WMA CA-29 on Facebook); the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 60 (760-830-4131); and the American Legion Post 761 (PO Box 123, Joshua Tree, CA 92252).
We know there are more organizations that serve veterans and active-duty military members. And there are ways to thank those people outside of donating to an organization or volunteering on a regular basis. You can pick up the tab for their coffee or meals; you can write a letter through Operation Gratitude (www.operationgratitude.com); you can hire them or encourage your company to hire them for jobs; and you can simply say thank you.