Happy Haven with Brandi-Ann Uyemura

Happy Haven with Brandi-Ann Uyemura

Gratitude on Memorial Day

{flickr photo}

Whenever I pass a man or woman in military uniform, I feel overcome with gratitude. I wish I could say aloud what I’m thinking in my head. I wish I had the courage they have. I wish I had their strength, their valor. I wonder if everything I do in this lifetime will always pale in comparison to their accomplishments.

I don’t say it because I’m timid, shy, because I feel awkward. But I hope they know it.


I think about them and the soldiers who died for this country. I think about them the way I feel about a Japanese woman I never met. A friend told me about this woman who lives in Japan. I was fascinated to hear that she was preparing to move to a city in the vicinity of the recent nuclear power plant disaster. I asked her, “Isn’t she afraid of the radiation?”

“No,” she said. “In fact, she is excited to move there so she can help.”

That statement embarrassed me as much as it inspired me. It reminds me that I don’t do enough to thank, give to or help those in need. Memorial Day reminds me of all the people who do courageous things on a daily basis that we forget or don’t think about.


All soldiers have done the unimaginable. Their gift was their courage. Their price was their life.

Thank you to all the men and women who have served this country! Thank you to the families of soldiers who risked their life for all of us. Thank you for allowing me the freedom to be weak or strong, but most of all for inspiring me to be just a little more brave.

*Sadly, PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is common among military soldiers and veterans. If you are experiencing symptoms such as avoiding situations that remind you of a traumatic event, hyperarousal such as irritability, anger, insomnia or flashbacks, please seek treatment. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has a complete list of symptoms and the American Psychological Association (APA) has an extensive list of effective PTSD treatments.

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Brandi-Ann Uyemura

posted June 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Hi Dan. Wow what an amazing story! I’m so sorry for what you have been through and yet I can also see how your love for your son has inspired you and made you grow strong. Thank you for sharing your story!

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Brandi-Ann Uyemura

posted June 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Thank you for your comment and for your story! I can’t imagine how you must feel having a son-in-law as a soldier. But I can bet it’s a feeling of both honor and fear. Much love and gratitude to you and your family. I so appreciate you reminding me again how much I have to be grateful for.

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posted May 28, 2012 at 2:28 am

I grew up in the time when war was not popular and we fought to end it. I really have no regrets for the reason we were there was not good enough to risk the lives of our soldiers.

I have supported going into battle since and there is a role for the warriors of our society. Some use words and some use arms. I now have a son in law in Afghanistan. I worry about him in his 4 deployment. I worry for him and for his family, yet he feels honor in his role. I can only hope he doesn’t have to be in combat one more day then is necessary and that we recognize when it is time to walk away.

One thing we forgot in the 70’s was to honor the warriors and the families of those that were waiting for them. If it is not too late, I would like to say thank you. Small words but I mean them with my heart.

Thank you

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Dan Metcalf

posted May 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Your feelings when you heard the woman’s comment mirror mine when my 12 year old was fading from cancer.

I prayed and prayed that God would spare him. In turn, he prayed and prayed that God would help us be happy even after he was gone. His strong faith inspired us and continues to inspire us almost 9 years later.

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