Today is not the day to thank your living spouse or veteran family member.

Today is the day to remember and thank those who have fallen during their service. Please don’t make a day about honoring the fallen of war about everyone who has ever served. They have their own day: Veterans Day.

This is a powerful, private photo I felt like sharing on this Memorial Day. My Tata has dementia, but he hasn’t forgotten his war stories. I can see the haze in his eyes during every day tasks, but when he talks about his time in the service, his eyes light up, his lips quiver. Sometimes it hits him how he’s watched his fellow brothers lose their lives so young, how others have sacrificed so that he was able to come home. I’ve asked my Tata to wear his uniform on a few occasions, and every time he stands with pride, I see the hurt in his eyes that he’s able to be here with his grandchildren, while so many people didn’t have the opportunity to start a family, or even come home to their family. And it’s times like this I witness the breakdown, and can only imagine the thoughts that consume his mind: he came home, many didn’t. I experience this, I witness this, I’m retold the stories, on a daily basis as I’ve taken care of my Tata. 

I’ve never seen war. But I’ve seen the look of war in the eyes of a veteran. And my heart hurts and reaches out to all the families to those whose loved ones never came back home. Veterans, continue to educate the younger generations about how much it has taken to keep us safe and the sacrifices that were made for that to happen. May they be remembered, and never forgotten. 

Photo Credit: Georgia H Photography, thank you so much for capturing this image of a man I respect so much.