A Challenge to Veterans this Memorial Day - ITS Tactical

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A Challenge to Veterans this Memorial Day

By John Hurth

SFC Nathan Ross Chapman

Today is Memorial Day, a federal holiday here in the United States for remembering and honoring people who paid the ultimate sacrifice while in the service of our country’s armed forces. Many volunteers will visit our national cemeteries and place an American flag on each grave. Many will visit cemeteries and memorials, to honor those who have died in military service.

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13

On the morning of Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised quickly to the top of the staff and then slowly lowered to the half-staff position. The United States flag remains at the half-staff position in remembrance of more than a million service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. At noon, the flag is then raised to full-staff to symbolize that their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their place and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

For many Veterans, Memorial Day can be quite depressing, especially if you served in combat and are intimately familiar with those who may have died violently. Feelings of anger and depression can consume us. For those of us who have survived, we have to change the way we deal with the memories of our fallen brothers and sisters. Memorial Day is not about us, but sometimes we invariably make it about us, because of our feelings and living with the memories of the day when our buddies were taken from us.

Memorial Day is about honoring our fallen brothers and sisters and celebrating their life and their memory. Our brothers and sisters who fell would have wanted it that way. They would have wanted us to rejoice and celebrate their memory, not give way to depression. We have a duty to honor them and to ensure their memory is not forgotten. We as the survivors need to tell their story of who they were and how much they meant to us.

I challenge all of my fellow veterans to make a positive change in your life this Memorial Day. Be the warrior, embrace the warrior culture and spirit. This Memorial Day stand tall and firm, celebrate and speak fondly of those who have fallen. We honor them and the lives they lived and are proud to have known them. Always remembered, Never Forgotten!

Til Valhall!

The Photo is of SFC Nathan Ross Chapman’s coffin, being carried by military pallbearers in January 2002. Nate was assigned to 1st Special Forces Group at Ft. Lewis, WA and was the first American soldier to be killed in combat in the war in Afghanistan.

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: John Hurth is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier who served with 1st Special Forces Group at Ft. Lewis, WA where he participated in multiple deployments overseas to include two combat tours in support of the Global War On Terror. He now uses his years of tracking knowledge as the owner and lead instructor of the TÝR Group where he and his staff conduct training on various tracking techniques.

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  • Scott Cade

    The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
    The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
    The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
    The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace, as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance.
    The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
    The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
    The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
    The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
    The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
    The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.
    The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
    The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.
    When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”

  • John Hurth

    Thanks Guys! You’re Awesome!

  • bullitt4686

    A challenge to me, not THE challenge, is not losing my temper toward those who choose to BBQ this day and think of it as another day off and totally neglect what this day does mean to us veterans. Last year, I walked out to my flagpole at noon to raise it back to full staff, and a civilian friend of mine thought he was helping by lowering it back to half-staff. I walked back to the pole and began to lower it when he actually stopped me and tried to educate me on why it should be half-staff. He didn’t take the re-education well at all. Luckily, and thankfully, his wife came and pulled him away from the pole. Ignorance is a challenge to me.

    • Burton


  • Hammer Pres

    Well put brother

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