First, watch this video, then continue.
That was just one of many tributes on Youtube to DC3 Nathan Bruckental, and as you know now, he was killed in action in 2004, leaving behind a wife and daughter and countless other loving family members and friends. It happened just a few months after I met my (now) husband, and was a bit of a wake-up call to me that the Coast Guard isn't just the guys in Cleveland who make the PSA each spring about wearing your life jacket during boating season. Though I am thankful Ryan isn't overseas today, there are plenty of people who are, and some of them won't be coming back alive.
To our veterans from the current and past wars and during peacetime, thank you for you service.
To the families who stay behind, hoping, worrying, and praying, our thoughts are with you. I'm pretty sure we (the families) all feel a little like that could be us next, that could be the knock at our door.
To the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children who've lost a Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman or Coastie, we can never thank you enough for your sacrifice.
I know I'm hormonal, but I'll be crying tomorrow at the parade, and if it's anything like the parade in my hometown, it likely ends at the cemetery where a bugle will play taps and I'll cry again. We'll be thinking of you Bruckental family, Nate is gone but not forgotten.