As the country heads into the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to the summer travel season, there are almost 1.5 million U.S soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deployed in war zones or combat missions worldwide.
So far, more than 6,400 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - 3,000 in Afghanistan alone - and at least 48,000 more have been wounded.
We encourage you to spend some time looking at our Home and Away feature, where you can discover the individual stories of the fallen.
Do you have a friend or family member in service? Tell in the comments who you are honoring this weekend.
I'm honoring my father, a member of Darby's Rangers who took part in the landings at Oran, Algeria, and the first modern American commando raid at Sened Pass, Tunisia. When the Rangers expanded from one battalion, he was promoted to platoon Sgt. of Company C, 4th Rangers and spearheaded the landings at Gela, Sicily; Salerno, Italy and Anzio, Italy. He was among the Rangers who infiltrated Castelamare, Italy to spot the German artillery for the Air Force, who took it out with one pass. Company C also captured a hill and German regiment on the Italian Winter Line in 1943-44. He was in the first landing craft to hit the beach at Anzio and was the soldier whose platoon fought it's way forward in Gela so that he could call in Naval Artillery strikes on the German Armored counterattack. A couple weeks after the Anzio landing, he lost half his left hand in the fight for Cisterna, Italy, the third time he was injured in the war.
Thank you so much @banasy. I hope you are feeling better today. Hugs and love to you and yours from the two of us.
I am honoring my father, Herbert J. Baldwin, a member of the 32nd Red Arrow Division, 126 Regiment in WWII, who served in New Guinea, Leyte and Luzon. He received several purple hearts, bronze stars, campaign medals, was a great soldier in a time of need. The war, took a tremendous physical and emotional toll on him, but in the years he raised me, you would not have known it. He was the best Dad a son could have had. He has been gone some 28 years now, but definitely not forgotten. So for his three granddaughters and soon to be born great grandson he never got to meet, I am remembering him this Memorial Dad as I do every day of my life.
I am honoring my father who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He is truly the most wonderful person I know. He served his country unselfishily for most of his life, making every sacrifice asked of him and still remains a positive influence to everyone he comes in contact with. We were raised with a sense of patriotism and loyality for our country that has been passed down through the future generations of our family.
@jj, thank you also for your thoughts about my brother.
I would like to honor every fallen Military man and woman from every war.
We love you my brothers and sisters. We think of you every day.
WHOM are you honoring...
My thoughts and prayers go out to all my fellow veteran past, present and future. The meaning of true patriotism is evident in all our warriors. This has got to be the most selfless job anyone could ever accept. It stands out more for me now than ever. Our services, now being 100% voluntary, speaks volumes to me about character.
My sincere thanks to all veterans. As always, my flag flies high and proudly for you.
@ dazzle Â©
And a special salute to your brother. He will always be with you in your heart.
Today we are honoring my grandfather and father in law who both served together in new guinea,we discovered this going thru photos that they both had. Also a big thankyou to my husband and his brother, vietnam vets,our son who just reenlisted in airforce and daughter and her husband usarmy. Not forgetting all those that never made it home. Thankyou one and all,thinking of the young families they left behind. You all are heroes in my eyes xx
My father – who was in the Army in WWII and helped to liberate a concentration camp and an uncle I never knew whose plane was shot down over the South Pacific, also in WWII.
I'm horoning the Hmong people who fought along side United State during the Vietnaim War.
My son is serving with the 2nd Brigade 1st Armored at Ft Bliss; my nephew just arrived in Afghanistan. I honor them and all who have ever served this country
in honor of my dad who fought across france and germany in ww2 my brother who was in nam. and now my wife who is in afgahanstan and to all the other who are or who have served godbless you all. for with out you we would not be the greatest nation in the free world
I am honoring my Dad. He served in the Pacific. He is a Marine. I am also honoring 2 of my Uncles – both in Italy. Another Uncle Marines in the Pacific. Another Uncle Navy in the Pacific KIA. A cousin Vietnam Army. Cousin Marines 1st Gulf War. A cousin Army and another cousin Air Force, both currently serving. My family has served this country since the Revolutionary War, and I honor them all.
My grandfather who was a NAVY Seabee and my brother who served in the airforce. I lost them both 11 months apart in 2009.