I got home late last night after a wonderful week spent visiting my family Pennsylvania. My heart is full on love, laughter, and hugs from my Mom! I am very thankful I was able to make it to my sisters graduation, and now she has made the trip back with me to MS! She will stay with us for a few weeks to visit and see the area.
On my way north I flew into Reagan because I got a great deal on a ticket.
While my family was there to pick me up we stopped at a few places in DC, one of them being Arlington National Cemetery.
I don't speak of him often, but I have a cousin who was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007.
He was 21 years old.
My family and I decided to go and pay our respects at his grave site in Arlington. I had not been there since the funeral had taken place in March of 2007.
There are white washed headstones for as far as the eye can see.
After walking through rows and rows we came to my cousins grave.
Its easy to look at pictures like the one above and become desensitized.
The sheer number of headstones is overwhelming.
But when we came to Luke's, it became so real.
Each of those white dots represents a life lost.
They are fathers and brothers and wives and daughters and friends and cousins. Many of the stones had mementos left by loved ones.
Some even had pictures taped of the soldiers in their uniforms.
Small tokens of love from the friends and family these heroes left behind.
Visiting Arlington was a somber but important way to start my time at home.
It caused me to be so thankful for the time I had with my family.
I complain about living so far away from them, but countless others have family that they cannot visit.
It was good to have that reminder.