On this Memorial Day, I will honor an American hero. She rests at the Tahoma National Cemetery.
Not all soldiers carry guns, and not all heroes serve in battle. This hero served for 26 years as a military spouse. Her name is Atha.
The battles she fought were frequent moves, remote postings to unfamiliar places, long separations and sick kids. And she volunteered wherever she was needed. She was sometimes recognized for her service, more often not.
Like soldiers who have foxhole buddies for strength during times of battle, military spouses often band together to fight their battles. But few get advice from expert staffs or wise generals. So they mostly fight their battles alone or in small groups the way soldiers often do.
I hope my hero can feel the flags and hear the bands and speeches that will surround her on Memorial Day. She would enjoy them as most military spouses do. When she died her small frame and big heart, though battered and bruised, were still doing her duty. And on this Memorial Day, I will honor her as an American hero who gave a last full measure of devotion to the duty she so proudly accepted.