Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TOP STORY >> Remember those who serve, protect

Leader staff writer

It’s been just over ten years now

Since I left my post,

and took on new responsibilities.

When I left, I swore to never forget

And yet I don’t think of them all the time

Who are they?

So goes the start of Serving Now, a memorial piece written by a Cabot native who graduated from Cabot High School in 1986 and then went on to serve 10 years in the Navy.

Daron Scott Frederick, who now lives in Benton, laughs that he chose the Navy so his family would be full circle. “My dad was in the Air Force, my grandfather in the Army and my uncle was a Marine, so that left me with the Navy.”

Frederick, who is a systems manager in the information technology field, does a lot of writing of poems, memorials and story—he’s just finished a children’s book and is looking for a publisher.

He says the impetus for this poem came from stories on Facebook; kiddingly claiming how rough life is these days. “We do leave a pretty big blanket of freedom, and those you haven’t served don’t always understand the importance of that,” Frederick explained.

Those serving. Not out of greed or desire,

Not for great pay and benefits. Not out

of the wishes to simply sacrifice their life for

your entertainment on a documentary.

Yet they will…without question…without remorse.

Frederick, a veteran of Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Desert Fox, said the more operations he went on the closer to the action he got. In Desert Shield he worked as a military police protecting a base in Australia. In Desert Storm he was on a fast combatant vessel replenishing the battle group and then in Desert Fox he was on a minesweeper right in the middle of the gulf.

“I have a deep heart and honor for those who have served or are serving,” said Frederick whose mother, Marti, still lives in Cabot. His dad died in 1987.

They’ll be honored, tributed and saluted.

And yet they’ll be gone.

But how do we honor them now?

What does our country send out daily, give their

families, or provide more than a low-class income

and antiquated education by progressive standards?

Frederick, who wrote this poem about two months ago, said he posted on his Facebook page and was surprised that in just a short time he had 400 emails about it and most of those from people he didn’t know.

“When the military drops out of the news, “Frederick, who is now married with four kids, says, “Some people quickly forget about the troops. I don’t want to forget. I know it would have affected me when I was in if I thought I was forgotten.”

Hope? Hope that they’ll make a difference?

Hope that the family sees their name proudly carved

in marble at the town square? Pride that for a few years

people will remember their service? Yet not knowing

what they actually did, or at what lengths they went to,

to protect us all.

Frederick said he’s written another poem to honor Memorial Day. “But it takes a different approach. In it I ask everyone to think of the good things, like their first dance and try not to focus on all the negatives that are out there,” he said.

My prayers stay with your safe return, your dutiful watch,

and your family for their service.

A military veteran is not now, nor will it ever be,

a one man show.

I was honored to serve as one of you,

and even more honored by your service to my family,

and our country now.