On Memorial Day, it is important to take a moment to remember why many of us have the day off of work and school. It’s not a celebration to kick off summer as many seem to think. It is a day to memorialize those men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Memorial Day should not be confused with Veterans Day, which occurs in November. Veterans Day allows us to remember and celebrate all of those individuals who have served our country, regardless if they are living or dead.
As a member of a military family, I find both days to be extremely important to celebrate. Here is the rundown of my family involvement in the military:
- Veterans: grandfather (Army, World War II), dad (Marine, Vietnam), husband (Army National Guard, Gulf War), brother (Marine, Operation Enduring Freedom)
- Volunteers: mom (Blue Star Mothers)
- Active Duty: sister (Army, stationed at Fort Polk), future brother-in-law (Army, stationed at Fort Polk), brother (Army, stationed in Minnesota)
- Siblings’ Deployments and Tours since 2008: 5 (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea)
Our family is extremely lucky and blessed to have had all of my siblings return from these deployments and tours unharmed. Unfortunately, several of their friends and fellow soldiers have not been so lucky. Memorial Day allows our family to remember those who have fallen.
While I am not personally in the military, I have become very aware over time of organizations that support the military and their families. If I have an opportunity to help those organizations out, I jump at it. This past week, I participated in a golf tournament at Edinburgh Golf Course with my colleague, Kelly O’Brien, director of admissions at Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center, and two members from the Rotary Club of Brooklyn Park. Proceeds from the event went to the Minnesota Military Family Foundation (MMFF). We spent the afternoon golfing in the rain, and as miserable as the weather was, all I could think about was that we were helping out the MMFF.
What is the MMFF? Imagine that your spouse is deployed, and your car breaks down, which likely will become a stressful situation. You, thanks to modern technology, may have the capability to contact your spouse to let him/her know what’s going on; this in turn may stress him/her out and distract from the mission/patrol.
Thanks to the MMFF, when families are caught in tough situations such as a car breaking down, they are able to turn to the organization for support. Community contributions take care of the requests made by families, sometimes within hours of the initial phone call. They are efficient and provide real assistance to those families in need.
After the event, we had the privilege to hear from retired Brigadier General Joe Kelly as well as other members of the Minnesota military branches. It was truly inspiring to hear real examples of how the organization has helped families since it began in 2004. Even though my family has never had to use an organization such as the MMFF, I know that others have, and there is always a possibility that one of my siblings may need to in the future. It is truly amazing to know that members of the military and their families are being looked after and supported during quite possibly the toughest part of military life—a deployment.
The MMFF holds other golf tournaments throughout the summer. If you are interested in playing or helping the organization out financially, please visit their webpage. They are a registered 501(c)3 organization, and donations are eligible for tax deduction.
Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center sponsored two holes on the course to support the cause, which was exciting for us because we are proud of the fact that we are a military friendly college. We are proud of our military students and thoroughly enjoy working with them.
If you are a member of the military, a spouse, or a dependent and would like more information about continuing your education, please look here or call Kelly O’Brien at 763-566-7777.