Today isn’t a happy day. Please don’t say happy Memorial Day.

Please don’t thank me–or any veteran or active duty service member—for our service.

Today is about remembering those who didn’t make it back home.

Today isn’t about drinking beer, going to concerts, shopping, or having a day off.

They will never get to raise another toast, hear another song, or shop for their newborn kids.

They made the unselfish decision to serve the country they love.

They were my shipmates, my Marines, my friends, and I was their “doc.”

We went through it all together, the bad and the worse.

Those bonds will never be broken.

Today I remember them and their families.

The promises I made to keep them in one piece, to patch them up, and get them home.
I failed.

I am sorry.

I didn’t write this so you would feel sorry for me.

This isn’t about me.

I wrote this to give you a glimpse into what today means to millions of us who did make it home because someone made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

I will raise a glass to the countless number of friends who didn’t come home.

I will listen to a song that reminds me of that time on liberty.

I will never stop thanking them or their family.

I will celebrate and cherish my life because I owe them.