This Memorial Day has special meaning for me and my family.
Having recently returned from the war in Afghanistan, I am reminded of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many for our nation's best and brightest.
As we enjoy the holiday weekend, please remember that Memorial Day is more than just a day off from work. For me and the other members of the unit I served with in Afghanistan, it's a time to honor the three dozen members of our unit who did not come home from our tour of duty. It's a time to remember the ultimate sacrifice these soldiers and their families made for our country. They answered our nation's call to serve and the people of Afghanistan are better off as a result. During my time in Afghanistan, my unit built schools, manufactured irrigation systems, constructed courthouses, and captured Taliban insurgents.
Above: Photo with Afghan Magistrate Judge Safi Ullah. Because he believed in equal justice under the law for all Afghans - men and women - not the rule of warlords, Safi was targeted for assassination by the Taliban. A few months after this photo was taken Safi was shot several times by an Islamic extremist while he was shopping at the local bazaar.
On this Memorial Day, let's remember to thank all of our soldiers and their families who came before us and say a prayer for the 65,000 American soldiers still in harm's way in Afghanistan.
Charles K. Djou
Charles Djou is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. Use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform do not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.
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Statement by Hawaii GOP Chair David Chang
On behalf of the Hawaii Republican Party, we honor the brave and selfless men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
As a combat veteran and member of the Hawaii National Guard, I am humbled by the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. Let us recommit ourselves to standing with those in service and also with the families of the fallen.
Please take a moment today and every day to remember the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and their families who have fought and sacrificed valiantly for America and all she stands for. Mahalo!
Have a blessed Memorial Day!
David S. Chang