Apologies, but I felt compelled to take a short break from my "Know Your Role" series in this column to make a short salute to service this Memorial Day. You may not have served, but chances are you know someone who has - or at least someone who has had a close friend or relative serve in the armed forces. Unfortunately, many of those who serve never return quite the same and some at all.

It's extremely important to remember that the sacrifices by our armed forces are not small. With all the modern technological warfare these days, it's easy to look at recent casualty numbers and feel at ease when you compare them to older, longer, more costly conflicts. The truth is that our military today requires just as much blood, pain, and tears as it has in years past (some quite distant in memory).

I think it's so easy to forget that one casualty doesn't simply equal on life lost. Many lives are lost with each and every death, as one dying man usually means that a husband, a father, a son, and a brother have all died together. Usually, it is the people that are left behind who suffer the most pain.

I try to remind myself that on these days. That Memorial Day isn't just remember those who are lost - but also those who are left behind as well.

I was fortunate to have returned from my service fairly unscathed (as did all of my brothers who served alongside me). We never had to make the ultimate sacrifice - and fortunately, none of our family had to bear that pain. However, many men and women I came to know during my years did pay that price - and their families are still paying that price today as they continue living on in the absence of their loved ones.

It doesn't matter what corner of the globe you come from, you should take a moment today to thank someone who has sacrificed while serving in the armed forces for your country of origin (or residence). They are the reason that you are able to go about your life in relative peace and safety today.

Lastly, I'm going to apologize for the opening apology in this brief article. It shouldn't be weird or awkward to be talking about these things. It shouldn't be considered "off-topic" from any other piece I've ever created here. Freedom, sacrifice, and thankfulness are equally a part of who I am, just as much (if not much more so) than being a writer, a gamer, or any of the other components that go into my content here.

So I want to thank those who have sacrificed on my behalf, and that counts whether you just lost a finger, and especially if you've lost a family member or a friend...

The world is not a nice place, and it takes very brave individuals willing to stand up and offer themselves (and their loved ones) to maintain all the rights and freedoms we enjoy daily. I only served briefly, and I consider it a very small pittance compared to what so many others have given. My losses don't even scratch the surface of what so many others have and are experiencing around the world.

Again, please thank someone you know who may be suffering for your benefit; and if you don't have anyone to thank, then take a moment to honor their memory.

Thanks everyone, and have a wonderful week!

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Alex has been playing online games and RPGs for quite some time, starting all the way back with Daggerfall, EverQuest, and Ultima Online. He's staying current with the latest games, picking up various titles and playing during his weekly streams on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings with both MMOs and MOBAs being feature plays. Hit him up on Twitter if you have a stream request for Freeplay Friday! Two future games he's got a keen eye on are Daybreak's EverQuest Next and Illfonic's Revival.


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