Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served and are currently serving our country’s military. For one day, we stand united in respect for our service members we celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
My commemorations go so much further than that. I am part of something that is bigger than me and unique. I am part of a family full of military members, not only that, I am part of a 3 generational legacy.
My mother Carselia Renard, Army Major (Retired) and also the first African American woman to be commissioned in the Louisiana Army National Guard she set the foundation. Myself, Nicole Marks Technical Sergeant in the Louisiana Air National Guard and my daughter Jasmyn McClendon Marine Corps Sergeant turned Air Force Staff Sergeant also in the Louisiana Air National Guard. This story represents three generations of women that served and are still serving in the United States military– an awesome accomplishment that we are proud of.
It is rare that three women made the same decision to serve their country with the highest level of commitment, respect, and honor. This is a milestone in our family that we may not ever see again. All three joined for different reasons: challenge, education, career, honor, commitment which are only a few that we share in common. My mother passed on the education, experience, knowledge, and responsibility to me and I passed the same to my daughter. I could have never known how this awesome journey would affect me until my daughter graduated from Marine Corps basic training. The same emotions my mother felt when I graduated from Basic training was the same emotions I felt when my daughter graduated from basic training. For my mom to have her daughter and only granddaughter salute her was a very emotional moment. We could have never imagined in a hundred years that this experience would happen to us. I have shared this story with many but never had the opportunity to share my experience with the world.
This is the first time the pictures we took will be seen by the world, these pictures which were a once in a lifetime moment was to commemorate the greatness that has been achieved. I respect all that have served and I thank you for your service but my Veterans Day and every day will be honoring the accomplishments of 3 women who made the choice to serve. This is a moment for me and it gives me an opportunity to brag a little on my family which I don’t do on a normal basis. Sharing my story may inspire many others to take that same journey.
Happy Veteran’s Day!
Written By: Nicole Marks