According to demographic research published by the Pew Research Center, “only about 0.5 percent of the American population has been on active military duty at any given time.”
Because of this, it is probably difficult for many Americans to comprehend the challenges that face military personnel and their families. According to a public opinion poll also published by the Pew Research Center, 71 percent of the public agrees that a military lifestyle is something they do not completely understand.
Few occupations involve uprooting and relocating one’s family every few years, 4 a.m. physical training, 24-hour Charge of Quarters (CQ) duty shifts, and the danger and uncertainty of war.
This is not an easy life.
This weekend is an opportunity to remember and show respect for those that gave everything. It is a time to suspend all judgments. It is a time to reflect.
It is not a time to make political statements or cultural criticisms. This is not a time to present arguments about unrelated issues. This is not a time to discuss the problems that exist in the military. Put simply, this is not an appropriate occasion for political grandstanding.
If there is anything sacred in this world, surely it is life.
Imperfect men and women staff America’s armed services. Still, many gave the perfect sacrifice. There is only one response befitting of such an act: Unconditional gratitude.
David Walker is a lifestyle photographer and graphic designer. He also publishes weekly essays and short podcast talks on his blog, TheAugustan.com.