My father is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He did two long (what war tour doesn’t feel long?) tours in Vietnam, continued to serve in the military until his retirement in the 1980s, and then waged a couple years battle against an Agent Orange caused cancer just a few years ago (it felt like another too long war tour). Growing up around soldiers, being the daughter of a soldier, having been a history teacher, I am profoundly affected by the truth that the price of freedom is often paid with life. My dad did not lose his life in Vietnam, as many– too many– others did, but he might still lose his life to his time in Vietnam as his cancer is basically incurable. And for the bulk of the last decade, many men and women have risked– and some given– their lives for our freedom. Every year on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veteran’s Day, I talk to my dad about my gratitude for his service and take time to reflect on the sacrifices of our servicemen and women past and present. On this Memorial Day, I am thinking of and thanking those who have served and those who are serving with profound gratitude and immeasurable humility. As my Marine buddies say, Semper Fidelis, indeed.