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Tallahassee, FL May 28, 2023 – This is my father’s gravestone located at the National Cemetery at Bushnell, Florida. He was buried with full military honors after 27 years’ military service that included tours in three wars. His generation saved the world from tyranny, and we rightfully honor them for their contributions to America. Amid the ceremonies this Memorial Day, let us not forget the daily sacrifices made by military families whose support makes our volunteer force the envy of the world. These families routinely endure years of uncertainty and chaos and how well they cope can determine a military career.

My father, like most of his generation, volunteered for the military after the attack on Pear Harbor. My dad fought in the Pacific in some of the bloodiest fighting of the war, including the Battle of Okinawa, and went on to serve with distinction in both Korea and Viet Nam.

All the while our family of seven tagged along and did what we could to make things work. We learned to adjust quickly to rapid change, new people, friends, and surroundings every three years. During our father’s tours of duty overseas, every family member assumed responsibility for various household chores and the home learned to operate independently, and successfully, despite the inconvenience.

Today’s military families face the same challenges and more and we should remember that they are the glue that holds everything together. This Memorial Day, let us also commend these families for their contribution to our national defense.

Jim Spearing, SSG Ret., The SOT Team