The story was about how grandpa (my father's step dad) had served time in prison because he was a conscientious objector during WWII. A devout Jehovas Witness, he didn't believe in fighting or killing. My dad, who was prejudiced beyond belief about anyone who was different or believed differently than he did, told the story every memorial day when I was little.
I had a brother who served in the Armed Forces during Vietnam when I was an infant, and other family members who had served in both world wars so memorial day was important all the way around.
I believed in military service from a very young age, so much so that I was willing to join when I was 19 and sign an oath I wasn't a homosexual.
Years later, after my father died, I found out he had been discharged from the Air Force with a 'less than honorable' label attached to his service record. I never found out why, though I could have. It also made me think about how proud my dad he had been when I joined......but how if he had lived long enough to learn I was gay....odds are he would have disowned me.
I still believe in serving one's country, and that includes in the military. If we are privileged to the point of living here and enjoying the freedom the rest of the world envies...we have a duty to serve and protect that.....even if we're gay.
This memorial day I remember my family members who have passed...those who served, and those who were simply a part of the tapestry of my life. I also pause to honor those currently serving.....and those whos service has been hindered or destroyed by DADT.