Many of our children like to dress up as superheroes or watch them on the screen. But Memorial day reminds us that our country is populated by some real ones.

Superheroes we rarely notice or see.

They are humble heroes– addressing you as “Ma’am,” saluting their superior officers, and reflecting a respectful attitude that seems foreign in the culture in which we live. They serve their years, and often come back with injuries (visible and invisible) that turn them into something different than they were when they left.

And sometimes they never come back at all.

Their spouses are heroes by default—for in their absence, these women and men hold their family’s faith, manage their home, and single parent their kids– while their beloved Marine or soldier is gone for months at a time.

Until I became close friends with a wife of a Marine, I was largely unaware of this military population. I knew they existed of course. I saw them celebrated occasionally in the news. But I never thought they really had much to do with my life. Little did I know they had everything to do with my life.

Without these heroes, our country would be an unprotected target for dangers we don’t know of or see. With them, we’ve been given an unearned freedom we don’t even realize we have. And rarely do we see the breadth of sacrifices they quietly make on our behalf .

So to all our Marines and Soldiers, fallen and active, today we honor you. You and your families live this quote in ways the rest of us will never know.

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