Today's post is a reminder of what today is really all about...Remembering the fallen men and women who bravely served their country to protect the freedoms that we not only enjoy, but tend to take for granted. We know that Freedom is never "Free" and we must not forget those who paid the ultimate price with their very lives.
Melbourne, Florida is located near Patrick Air Force Base, and we are fortunate to be home to many military families that choose to serve and defend the United States of America. Our community has also lost men and women in service to our nation. Since our community is located near a military base, we have also become home to families that have lost a loved one during military service. One such family easily comes to mind.
Today I especially want to honor the memory of Army Spc. Rafael Navea who died in Fallujah, Iraq on August 27,2003 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rafael Navea was a 34 year old father of 3 beautiful children and a devoted husband to one of my dearest friends. She shared this photo with me, and it is the face of what today is about.
You see, the sacrifice doesn't end with the soldier's passing; the family's sacrifice continues every day that follows. My friend honors the memory of her husband and works to keep his memory alive for their children, and I know that she would give up EVERYTHING she has to be able to turn back the hands of time to a day when they were all together.
Our country may be divided along political lines, and people have many concerns and complaints about the current "State of the Union", but today is a day for gratitude. I am grateful to the men and women who left everything behind to serve and never returned. I am grateful for their families and their courage to keep going in the wake of such loss. I am grateful to Mrs. Navea and her family....I am honored to know them.