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Memorial Day Is Much More Than a Day Off Work

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I remember my first employed Memorial Day six years ago. I was just a 16-year-old girl answering the phones at Pizza Hut. I didn't know much about the world, and I definitely didn't know why such a day was worth celebrating.

Business was slow enough to have a little get-together with a few co-workers that day. We made BBQ chicken and pineapple pizza (strictly off-menu, of course) and talked about everyone's plans after they got off of work. That day doesn't hold so much significance to me, but having such a wonderful place for my first job does. They took care of me, and they taught me a lot. My boss was my own personal hero.

I was hired at that Pizza Hut because the general manager was pregnant. (I won't use her name for privacy reasons.) She was already in the third trimester, and even though her doctor had prescribed her bed rest, she couldn't give up the restaurant. That's how much it meant to her.

She taught me so much about the place, but she also taught me a lot about life. The soon-to-be mom was already of mother of adorable twin girls. I'd probably seen them once or twice during my time there. She was a single mother and cared for them on her own every day. When she ended up birthing her daughter, her twin daughters were the only ones in the delivery room.

We got a new store manager after the baby was born, but I never lost touch with the woman who hired me. Not long after the birth of her third child, she joined the U.S. Army. She spent three years overseas, and I kept up with her journey there as best I could. Now, she works as a police officer.

It's easy not to think about military lives: the people behind them, the stories they've written. I certainly never thought them that until I met my first manager. I've never thanked her for what she's done for me, but I wanted to write this to thank all the military women who helped mold the lives of young girls.
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