On February 7th, 2007, Marine Corporal Jennifer Parcell was killed in Anbar province, Iraq when a woman she was searching at a checkpoint detonated an explosive vest. This was my first real experience with losing another service member, and one I’ll never forget. I remember the first time I met Parcell. We were both scared little recruits in boot camp, surviving the 13 weeks of brutal training by clinging to one another and trying to make it to the next meal. That was our goal; just make it to breakfast, then lunch, then dinner. Not one thought yet of the contract we willingly signed, a contract that says we would give our lives for our country, should the need arise. Not one of us thought THAT would actually happen. We’d see the world, train in such a way that we would never need fear another human being again, taste exotic foods, see exotic places and people, and gain life and trade skills. Not one thought of whether we might actually be asked to pay the ultimate price. That was the last time I saw Parcell alive.
Every time there’s a 3-day weekend, there’s going to be a BBQ or two. Completely understandable. I mean, what else are you going to do with 72 hours, no boss to answer to, no emails to check, no formal business to attend to? The kids are begging you to set up the pool, the weather’s nice, and the BBQ and smoker are calling our names. But let us not forget the true meaning behind Memorial Day observation, which began during the time of the Civil War and has been carried on ever since. Memorial Day was set aside to honor the Fallen. Those that never thought that THAT would actually happen to them. Those that were once just scared recruits, hoping to see the world. With time, things tend to lose their original meanings, I get it.
But let us not forget. Enjoy your BBQs and your pool parties, but take the time to remember those who have served us all and selflessly gone before us. Teach your children about these heroes. Talk about them and remember them. Find time to visit them and leave flowers, or simply allow for a moment of silent reflection. Yes, Memorial Day was Monday, but the message should stay with us longer than a 3-day weekend, don’t you think? We do. JP’s Collision Center supports our troops and veterans, and we carry on the tradition of remembering with respect our fallen heroes. In our office sits a “Wall of Honor”, where we have dedicated the space to honor our military service members. Come down and see it for yourself. It truly is a sight to behold! Are you or someone you know active or veteran military? Bring us a photo and your story so that we may add you to our wall and share your story!
Friendly reminder! JP’s Car Show is coming up soon, and we want to spread the word and get as many participants and sponsors as possible. It will be held Sunday, August 26th, from 10 am until 3 pm, at 3675 S. 300 W. We will have food, fun, raffles for prizes, and all donations made will go to the Operation Zero PCR non-profit organization, benefitting the fight against veteran suicide. Mark your calendars and join us for a day of fun and charity. See you there!