Thank you for your service

  • Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thank you to those who sacrifice for our freedom. Including the families of our fallen and those who continue to sacrifice. More than 1.4 million lost is one count. So I hope as the burgers were flipped and suntan lotion slathered, we remain always mindful and grateful.

Dear Liz,

We lost a family member in the war against terror. I had an argument with a friend about that being included in our celebration of Memorial Day. I prefer to not give details because of privacy.

But, that person truly died defending Americans. We agreed to disagree. But I am angry! Help.

In memory of...

Dear “in memory...,”

Bless you and your lost loved one. In my research about Memorial Day, which started as Decoration Day after the Civil War, there was a category in the lists I saw of casualties specifically entitled “war on terror,” along with lists of all wars and other conflicts. (That specific number was slightly under 7,000 in the detailed breakdowns).

If we think of all those lost during 9/11 – I'd say our ongoing fight against the war on terror is of critical importance for the future of America. I would not waste my energy trying to convince someone choosing an insensitive way to try to win an argument.

Inside, we should keep our thoughts, prayers and awareness on all those who have sacrificed, known to us and not.

Dear Liz,

Our family started a new tradition for Memorial Day this year.

One day of the really four-day weekend, we did service to some military families in our neighborhood. It was nothing formal, but it was awesome. I think our children have a new appreciation and that the holiday has a solemn purpose.

The one thing we ran into was our 12-year-old son, normally pretty nice, had a bad attitude, you know, a bit put out.

My husband wanted to kill him publicly but kept his cool. We took him aside and tried to reason, plead, threaten – no great change.

He spent the rest of the day in his room, which meant one of us couldn't attend a picnic. It just didn't seem fair.


Dear “Bummed,”

What a great idea! Good for you! More families should do that. If you can't, you can find something like the Wounded Warrior Project and many others.

As for your 12-year-old, sounds like an attack of hormones and the “world revolves around me me me.”

Actually, that age group can learn the true pleasure and blessings of providing service. More frequent opportunities, good preparation and contributions to planning help. I'm glad your husband resisted temptation, but every parent of a middle schooler relates.

Rule No. 1 in consequences for kids: do not let the punishment become one for a parent as well. I would have preferred you get another family member or strict babysitter to stay with the preteen and been able to go have fun.

Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree-level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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