“Elephant in the Room”

Admiral Mullen’s humble words to our Gold Star Wives this past week pointed to an “Elephant in the Room” this Memorial Day.
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June 1, 2010 - PRLog -- Admiral Mullen’s humble words to our Gold Star Wives this past week pointed to an “Elephant in the Room” this Memorial Day.

Admiral Mullen and his wife Deborah both received awards for their work with the families of our fallen heroes. In his acceptance he simply stated that when it comes to remembrance of these ultimate sacrifices we need to be ever vigilant and more creative in finding new ways to honor those Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice and their Survivors.

The "Elephant in the Room" for me is that one day is not enough to honor these brave souls!

While serving the Veterans Corporation this past year, I have had the privilege to interact with many Veterans and Survivors who have already subscribed to the Admiral’s suggestion. When it comes to commitment, how about Donna Kiernan, a Gold Star Wife, who is trying to build a new life, but yet voiced her strong need to share her strength and experience simultaneously with other survivors to be really successful; or how about Steve Campos who struggled for years with PTSD but now shares his pain in his book “Charlie Doesn’t Live Here Any More”, a work that honors all Veterans;and let me not forget Barry McCrum who was the first Veteran to volunteer to help remake the Veterans Corporation while simultaneously trying to balance his many responsibilities and a father’s pride and worry for his hero son still facing danger in Afghanistan.

These are extraordinary Americans who have borne the brunt of war yet still volunteer in a New York minute to assist other Veterans and their Survivors. I call these wonderful individuals “Minuteman Mentors” and submit we need to enlist a larger army of them to properly honor our Veterans and their Survivors every day.

All Veterans and citizens of this great Nation need to volunteer to create new ways to honor these heroic Veterans every day. Memorial Day should of course be a day of remembrance of the fallen, but taking the Admiral’s lead, I agree it should also be a day of promoting the creative ways of those who honored their memories with their daily deeds. My fervent hope for next year’s Memorial Day is that more Americans will have seen the "Elephant in the Room" and decide they too want to become "Minuteman Mentors".

God bless all of the fallen heroes and their survivors.

God bless the United States of America.

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