Sunday, June 14, 2020


Today is both Flag Day and the Army Birthday. When I was in the Army, we often had cake and celebrations associated with this day. Today, I'm just at home still in my PJs reflecting on the fact that I've spent more time outside of the Army than in it.

The first time I deployed, a volunteer handed me a little flag before I stepped on the plane. It was the same kind I've handed out at parades or nursing homes, the little inexpensive ones on a wooden rod that might give you a splinter if you're not careful. But that day, I had this realization that there was a chance I might not set foot on American soil again. I clung to that little flag in fear and anxiety, hoping for the best.

As controversial as General MacArthur was, sometimes I still hear the recording of his aged voice in my head... ""Duty, Honor, Country" — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."

In tough times, in challenging times, in scary times, I find myself clinging metaphorically to that little 30-cent flag. Sometimes, I feel its splinters digging into my hand. But I hold fast because of those three words, reminding me to never give up on courage, faith, and hope. There remains the possibility and potential for a better tomorrow.

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