Showing posts with label Navy SEAL VI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Navy SEAL VI. Show all posts

Monday, May 29, 2017

Practicing Mindfulness on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day set aside each year to remember those who have lost their lives while serving their country in the armed forces. The meaning of the day can easily become lost in the long weekend filled with barbecues and beer. Or become confused with Veteran's Day, with which we greet our living armed forces folks with a "Happy Veteran's Day". Political disagreements can threaten to erode the meaning of Memorial Day altogether. As a result of all of these things, and with utmost respect to those willing to sacrifice so much for my protection and freedom, I choose to spend Memorial Day in mindful remembrance.

Memorial Day - Remembering Individuals

As a grateful Army mom, whose sons both returned from deployments, I have decided this year to intentionally know about someone (or multiple people) who have given the ultimate sacrifice.  I wanted to put real names on this holiday in order to honor them and their families by keeping their memories alive.

I chose to read World Changer: A Mother's Story: The Unbreakable Spirit of US Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn by Karen Vaughn.  

Overnight, I've read 75% of the book. Karen tells us of her son as a child, an adolescent, a young man, and finally a Navy SEAL. She tells of her perspective of parenthood as a Christian and of her faith in God. She describes her mother-son bond and how that bond is broken when the helicopter is shot down, killing all on board - including members of Navy SEAL VI - including her son. She writes with such honesty of the moment that my chest hurt as I sobbed. 

Despite the great loss she and her family have endured with the loss of her son, there is somehow peace in her writing. There is no asking for pity, only a quiet strength. I'd imagine she attributes that to God. She is a good witness to those of us who are not as convinced of such an active force in our lives. 

In this book, Karen Vaughn memorializes her son in a beautiful way. She describes his childhood antics, his school-aged years, and his move into being a husband/father a such a loving way - without being overly syrupy. I definitely feel as though I know who Aaron Vaughn was in life. 

Memorial Day - General Remembering

On this day there are many ways to remember those who have passed before us, in the service of their country.  A few ways to remember in general are:

  • attend or participate in a Memorial Day parade
  • fly a flag
  • watch movies (such as Act of Valor, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Pearl Harbor, and so many more)
  • watch documentaries 
  • visit a military cemetery 
  • visit a war memorial or museum
  • choose a time period and educate yourself about that war

Even if you don't agree with the politics of a particular President or the reasons a specific war has occurred, the United States of America is what it is in large part because it has been participating in battles for over 200 years. I guarantee there has been someone, in some conflict, who has supported or protected your interests. 

On this Memorial Day, I am focused in my thanks to those individuals who were willing and able to do what I am not. Today, I am mindful of those families who have lost a loved one in the defense of our country. 

Updated:  I have become aware that immediately following the launch of World Changer, Amazon's link to purchase hardcovers went down.  I am not aware of the reason why but want to make sure that I provide my readers with an alternate link for the purchase of World Changer in hardcover.  In the event the Amazon link goes down again, please refer to Karen Vaughn's official website to make that purchase - Official Karen Vaughn World Changer site .

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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