Thanksgiving Request

One of the worst fates I can imagine, is to be a family with a family member that has been listed as MIA. At any formal military dinner there is a place setting that is set and unused in honor of those who have fallen or are missing in memory of their service.

My humble request to those who feel it may have some merit is to do that this Thanksgiving. This was a particularly rough month for me, the outpouring of love from the USCCA and it’s members and forums on Veteran’s day, the end of a 30 year personal search for resolution that ended in my favor though it brought up some very painful memories I had suppressed, an interaction that was so stressful it hospitalized me, have left me thinking about the many things I have to be thankful for.

As an aside, the history of Thanksgiving is more than many think. It has always been a holiday that was also meant to reflect on the sacrifice of the fallen and missing who never returned home in our countries service and the beneficence of a God who helped us create this country.

I don’t want to turn this into a big debate about who is right or not so I shall just post some important dates that you can Google if you so desire on the history of Thanksgiving.

  1. Continental Congress 1777 (after American Victory at Battle of Saratoga)
  2. President George Washington 1789
  3. President Abraham Lincoln middle of Civil War
  4. Congress 10/6/41
  5. President Roosevelt 12/28/41

The missing/lost table:

The table is round – to show our everlasting concern.

The cloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.

The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these Americans….and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, while seeking answers.

The yellow ribbon symbolizes our continued uncertainty, hope for their return and determination to account for them.

A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate, captured or missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families.

The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share a toast.

The chairs are/chair is empty – they are lost/missing

When I was Active Duty and had the ability to do so I included this table in every event that I could, not only that I insisted that it was Front and Center. I would also incorporate the “I am the flag” presentation while the honor guard would fold the flag and place it in the center of the honor table.

I am the flag of the United States of America.

My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom. I am confident.
I am arrogant. I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little higher,
My colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped - I am saluted.
I am loved - I am revered.
I am respected - I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appamatox.
I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy.
Guam, Okinawa, Korea and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me.
I was there. I led my troops.
I was dirty, battleworn and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me and I was proud.

I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries
I have helped set free. It does not hurt for I am invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and trampled in the streets of my country.
And when it’s done by those whom I’ve served in battle - it hurts.
But I shall overcome - for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of earth and
stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have born silent witness to all of America’s finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battle field,
when I am flown at halfmast to honor my soldier,
or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,

I am proud.
I am the flag of the United States of America.

I have read that dozens of times and I don’t think I have ever made it through without choking up.




I got teary eyed reading that. So, I copied and shared it with an early message of being thankful for all those that won’t be at home with family tomorrow. Not just the soldiers, but, the officers, EMT’s, and medical workers. The last one has a special place at my house. My wife used to work the ER desk at a hospital. She spent every other holiday, checking in patients at the ER. She doesn’t any more, but, we know many who do. From all aspects of this, including friends who have lost loved one in the line of duty.


In our family there were two squids and two nurses. So SOMEBODY always had duty. The first squid became a LEO and SOMEBODY always had duty. The second squid retired and now is the head cook. because SOMEBODY always had duty. The squid /LEO retired but doesn’t cook and every other holiday SOMEBODY has duty. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays or pick a holiday could always be moved right or left a few days. In case of deployment Christmas has been held in July, Birthdays 4 months off, Thanksgiving in March.

When in Hawaii and they extended a 6 month deployment because somebody threw a war we had an “Un-Party” It was every birthday, Anniversary, Holiday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years that we missed that year. It was one he!! of a party, and after all that, SOMEBODY had duty and missed it.




Y’all are just making my heart fill up with pride and appreciation for the opportunity to keep company with all of you. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: