Giving Up Their Todays for our Tomorrows


President Kennedy once said,


“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”


Ah’Leesya Johnson, presented with an American flag at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, Oct. 21, 2017 for her father, Sgt. La David T. Johnson



Myeshia Johnson, wife of U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson, who was among four special forces soldiers killed in Niger, kisses his coffin at a graveside service in Hollywood, Florida, Oct. 21, 2017. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)



Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011.
Evan Vucci / Associated Press





The granddaughter of Major Timothy D. Fulton clutches a folded American flag which was just given to her as she looks at her tearful mother during memorial services for her grandfather, Major Fulton at Arlington National Cemetery.

© Mike Lynaugh





The grave marker for US Army Captain Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan,who was killed in Iraq in 2004 in a roadside explosion, is seen August 1, 2016, in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
The father of a slain Muslim American soldier assailed Donald Trump as a “black soul” July 31 in an impassioned exchange with the Republican presidential candidate over the qualities required in a US leader. Khizr Khan electrified the Democratic convention last week with a tribute to his fallen son that ended with a steely rebuke that Trump had “sacrificed nothing” for his country.
/ AFP / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)









In case you’re unfamiliar with Spc. Chris Horton, his wife wrote an excellent article about her husband that is an excellent read:

On August 18th, 2011, Chris wrote from Afghanistan to a boy from his parent’s church who had aspirations of becoming a sniper:

Hi Reagan,
I was about your age when I decided I wanted to be a sniper. I’d be happy
to talk to you some time about it if you remain serious about it. The path
to becoming a sniper is by no means easy and if you complete your training,
it is a very hard and lonely job. It isn’t what you see in the movies or in
video games. As a sniper you will work harder than everyone else. You’ll
find yourself often deep behind enemy lines cut off from reinforcements and
supplies. You work alone with your teammate. Everyone wants to be you, but
no one understands your job, not even your command, which makes your job
very difficult. It is a very difficult but rewarding career, but don’t make
this decision lightly. There is no other job in the military like it.
You’ll soon find, as I did, that if you stick with this decision you’ll face
a lot of opposition within your close circle of family and friends.

Snipers have basically two reputations. One is the selfless elite hero that
moves around the battlefield alone and undetected, a true bane of the
enemy. The other is a dirty sneaky assassin, honor-less and evil. The
latter, of course, is far from the truth, yet if you stick with this path,
you’ll be accused of this by people you know. If you’re serious about this,
there is nothing I or anyone else can do or say to convince you one way or
another, because if I or anyone else could convince you to abandon your
path, then you were never going to make it anyway.

In the mean time, focus on your work in school. There are certain test
scores required to enter sniper school. They only take the best and the
brightest the military has to offer. Less than one percent of the military
are snipers and everyone wants to be one, but 99% don’t have what it takes.

Good luck in school.


Christopher Horton

The U.S. Army Sniper School is one of the hardest and most coveted schools in the military. Many soldiers claim to be snipers, and many others say that they know a sniper, but in reality, a “real” sniper is extremely rare.



During sniper school Chris called me and told me more guys dropped out after they were shown graphic videos of what usually happens to snipers in a war zone. He laughed and said that those that really don’t want to do it and don’t want to take the risk shouldn’t be there anyway. It’s true. Being a sniper is one of the most dangerous jobs in Afghanistan right now, and in the region where Chris was, they hated snipers. Chris knew this, and he didn’t care. He still proudly toted his prized possession- his Remington XM2010. Some do not agree with this theory, but those that know the story best and the area have told me this, and swear it to be true. They allege that he was watched all day long, and that when they came to attack, they targeted him. In fact, all that were killed were next to Chris, and Chris and his rifle took the most rounds. Deep in his heart, Chris really wanted to protect you and I, serve his country, and do his duty. He felt the best way to do this and use his God given talents was to be a sniper- as dangerous as it may be- and he died for it. He not only died for it- he was targeted for it.




When Chris died and I heard how many rounds his sniper rifle took, I immediately wanted to see it. The last thing Chris gave me before he left was a bullet out of his sniper rifle, and a round. The bullet is called a hogstooth.

He was a little nervous to give it to me, he didn’t know if I would like it or not. Of course I did. I loved it. I knew what it meant to him, and how hard he had worked to be able to carry that rifle. It was his pride and joy, and it was the reason he joined the Army in the first place. I was told that it was pretty much destroyed, and that it would stay in Afghanistan. My heart sunk, but I moved on and forgot about it. Well, that was until a couple days ago when I found out it made its way back to Tulsa with the unit’s gear almost a year later. My heart stopped. I almost panicked. How could this be true? His rifle is back? Was it in it’s original form? Did it still bear the rounds from the incident? Had it been cleaned? Could I actually see his sniper rifle? I couldn’t handle it anymore — I had to see it. Just knowing it was so close, I had to see my husband’s prized possession.

This morning I woke up from a soggy sleep- I was too excited and anxious to actually get a good rest. I got up, got dressed and headed off to Chris’s old armory, where he did all of his training and monthly drills. I found myself barely able to control my emotions. This was the same armory I dropped him off at to go to basic training a week or so after we got engaged. It was also where I came to attend numerous holiday parties and small events. Not only that, but it was where I said goodbye to Chris and dropped him off his last day in Tulsa. All of these memories came flooding back. As I walked in the doors, my heart was racing, Chris’s sniper rifle was soon to be in my arms.

I sat in an empty office with a few soldiers and a fellow widow, and in walked my husband’s best friend with his rifle. It caught me off guard, and I had to get up and leave. Not just for me, but for Chris’s best friend. It was the first time he had seen it as well. He was shaking. We went in another private room, and I looked over his rifle like a mother examining her newborn. I just couldn’t believe here I was, at his training facility, without him, and with his rifle eleven months later. It was a surreal moment. Chris’s rifle was not in good shape. This $10,000 weapon was tainted with bullet holes and speckled wounds throughout. Not only this, but the bi-pod and suppressor were missing because they had been completely destroyed. I cried. There it was. It hadn’t even been cleaned. My husband’s dirt still covered his war companion- but he was no where to be found. This weapon is similar to wearing a huge target in Afghanistan, that rifle is massive, and is very, very hated because of the skills and power of the man who earned the right to carry it. This man just didn’t make it home.

We put the rifle away for a few hours so we could tend to other business, and then we got it back out again. The mood between the soldiers was somber, it was one of those moments where reality hits you like a ton of bricks. Horton’s sniper rifle was back, but he was not. It made his death real, seeing his rifle so beat up was devastating for many to see. A few of the snipers and I again went into another room and looked over his rifle. It was the first time they had seen it as well. It is a moment I will never forget. Many of you won’t get this at all, and some will completely get it. There was so much emotion in that room. I finally had to head out and the soldiers put Chris’s prized possession away. I left more shaken up than I had been in months. I tried to buy that rifle, I just wanted to keep it, but I was denied.


See, there are times when the cost of war really hits me hard. There are times when I live my life and things seem to be ok, but there are times when it all makes sense. When reality hits home, and the war hits home. To see Chris’s rifle in such a devastated condition made me feel like I was drowning, it made me feel like I was in a room filled with heavy, warm air, I could barely breathe. My husband was shot to death for carrying a huge target in his hands- his rifle. I just hope this blog helps reality hit home for you as well. Not because I want you to feel sorry for me, but I want you to understand my husband’s heart. His bravery, his sense of honor and duty, his talent, and his sacrifice. It was not small. I’m starting to realize mine is no small dosage either. This is pure torture.

With all of this in mind, I couldn’t be more proud of Chris for working so hard to fulfill his dream of being a sniper. He truly gave this goal his all. Little did he know he would truly give it all for his dream. But- he chose that job, and he knew damn well the danger that went a long with it.

When I had to decide what two lines with 13 characters each that I would use to describe Chris on his gravestone, I knew I had to include sniper

(Also, Regan passed basic training last year and still plans on being an Army sniper.)






Jane Horton:

Christian and Shae will never meet their uncle Chris here on this earth, because he loved them enough to give his tomorrows for their todays. He chose to answer the call to use his skills and talents to serve and protect our nation so they could be safe and free.

As we arrived at Chris’s grave and watched little Christian walk up to his headstone that was eye level with him and place his tiny fingers on the white marble, just as Shae did a year ago, the tears just poured down my face.The thoughts that ran through my head are too many to put into words, but the knowledge that Chris and so many others who lay beside him at Arlington have given their all for future generations to enjoy freedom leaves me paralyzed with respect, gratitude, and reverence.

When I look into little Shae’s bright blue eyes I mourn that she will never know her uncle, but I know she will love him for defending her so she too could taste the beauty of freedom and the American dream. Even though Chris and I never had the blessing of children, his legacy will live on. He will live on in them; he will live on in us. All of their legacies will live on in all of us- and their spirit of courage, sacrifice and honor will too. America is a blessed nation having never known foreign war on her own land, and our people- other than those who have served-have the rare blessing of not even having any comprehension of the atrocities that occur during war.

As we reflect on this Memorial Day and remember those who have given their last full measure of devotion since our country’s inception, and as we struggle with the current climate of our country, do not forget the blessing of living in the freest nation in the world. As times get hard and the American dream seems harder to obtain, do not lose heart, do not give up. Give all you have and continue to fight. Remember the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the opportunities and freedoms that we have today. Some nights I lay in bed overwhelmed that so many would love me enough to give up their dreams, hopes, passions and life so I could be safe and live free. Some days I contemplate if I am living my life worthy of my husband’s sacrifice. Worthy of all of their sacrifices….

In one of the most divided times in our nation’s history, if we can come together and all remember why we are free, and the love and sacrifice that so many have invested in us, their spirit of sacrifice can truly change this nation. They gave all they had to give- the greatest gift of all- to you and I. Please don’t forget them – they didn’t forget you. They gave their tomorrows for our today. Chris gave his last full measure so you, I, Shae and Christian could be free.

More from Chris‘ widow:

Each Memorial Day I have struggled deeply with an America that fails to know the difference between this sacred day and any other, or chooses to honor the living on a day that is only for the dead.

Memorial Day is not about me, it is not about the families of the fallen, the living or the wounded, but it is about those who have given their lives for each and every one of us. As angry as the confusion over the meaning of the day makes me, I was humbled last week to look on my very own Facebook at my “on this day” flashback to 2010 when I was wishing every veteran I knew a happy Memorial Day.

I never knew it would be so personal to me, and I wish I didn’t understand how important this day was- but now I do. It’s so much deeper than even remembering their names, but understanding that every night when we sleep peacefully in our soft beds, and lay our heads on our fluffy pillows, men and women are still dying. Throughout our nation’s inception, men and women have been willing to fight, bleed and die, so that we can be free. How simple the tagline but how real the meaning-and how vast the amount of lives that were given to the America we have today.

This Memorial Day I urge you- I beg you- to please remember the true meaning of Memorial Day, and that it is only for the dead.

That does not mean you should not enjoy your Memorial Day. Please enjoy your family and friends and freedom.






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In addition to our brave military personnel who fall in the line of duty, people like Jane Horton are true heroes. She accepts the bitter loss of her husband in combat without the self-pity and blame of others that would certainly be her privilege.

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”

When you consider some of the people the last administration “honored and remembered”, you realize what a sick nation we had become and the DIShonor that showed the true patriots and heroes.

@Deplorable Me, #1:

Donald Trump, earlier today:

Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!

5:58 AM – 28 May 2018

Barack Obama, earlier today:

We can never truly repay the debt we owe our fallen heroes. But we can remember them, honor their sacrifice, and affirm in our own lives those enduring ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity for which generations of Americans have given that last full measure of devotion.

9:02 AM – 28 May 2018

Compare, and draw your own conclusions. It’s Memorial Day; I have none to offer.

my daughter gave her life for this country. her flag rests on a credenza in my office as you walk through the door. ever wonder why the radicalized muslin terrorist ex-pres. had no interest in the military? his offering on this hallowed day is useless as was his eight years in office

@Greg: I suppose you missed Trump’s speech at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Like a few other liberals I have read, you ignore the message in order to seek, endlessly, fruitlessly, for something to criticize for the sake of criticism, to make your support of a lying criminal (you can not select from an assortment) seem to you to be a better decision.

Perhaps Trump’s message in the tweet was that we better honor those who died for this country by restoring the greatness and honor of the nation, instead of honoring trannies, traitors and thugs killed by the police.

@Greg: #2
I would rather compare President Trump’s activities today with Obama’s behavior when he was President. The most noticable difference?
Not a selfie to be found today.
Every time PDJT interacts with the military, law enforcement, or others who protect and serve, we see his profound respect for them.
Every time Obama interacted, we saw his contempt.
It’s easy to be a pretend statesman when you have no responsibility.

@Deplorable Me: @Petercat: You two are exactly right. What tears did Greg shed today for those who lost their lives? Instead, Greg chose to degrade the comments made by a President who was elected by a system they defended with their lives. Liberals are still spitting on those who do the hard work in their efforts to make our country better.