My Corner, Your Corner: Thank a veteran this Memorial Day

My Corner, - Your Corner - Tony Callaio

Monday is Memorial Day. When you despise winter as much as I do, the time between Jan. 1 and Memorial Day is a very, very long time.

It’s actually the first time I can admit summer is here … or trying to get here, anyway.

Memorial Day weekend is usually the first time you fire up the grill at a family gathering. Some have backyard pools up and ready to go while others, since this spring hasn’t cooperated like it should have, are still covered.

The other day, I vowed to try to spend as much time outside as possible this summer. That’s the plan anyway but, when real life gets in the way, it might not be as often. The intent is there, though.

With all the spring rain, you can’t say the yards and trees aren’t green because some people are actually cutting their grass twice a week.

Even though I don’t have a patio, I like seeing patio sets, grills, umbrellas and fire pits on display for sale.

The idea of sitting on a patio in the evening with warm temps and a light breeze makes me smile. Add the aroma of the grill and a cold beverage and you have heaven.

Last Monday was the first Top Ten day of the summer. It was gorgeous with moderate temperatures, a deep blue sky and brilliant sun. Perfection! We call that a perfect spring/summer day. Others might call that Florida.

I don’t know how I’d act if I lived in a climate where the weather was summer-like all year round. I’ve made that statement before and people have argued with me that I’d miss the seasons. That may be true, but I’d get over it fast.

For as much as Monday was great, Tuesday was rainy, damp and chilly and I’m not sure if the temperature got past 60 degrees. I went from feeling great and on top of the world Monday to feeling depressed and lethargic Tuesday.

When I see that big, bright ball in the sky (even in the dead of winter), it makes me happy.

Who doesn’t love the sun? Maybe Morticia and Gomez Addams or Herman and Lily Munster.

Speaking of loving something, how can you not love or appreciate the American flags that dot cemeteries?

There’s something about visiting the gravesite of a loved one on Memorial Day and feeling the pride of being an American. Looking over the cemetery and seeing a sea of flags give me chills.

Not everyone with a flag flying on a grave represents a person who perished during battle. Rather, it shows that person has served our country during good times and bad.

My dad did two tours of duty, including serving in Korea but he did not see combat. He was proud of his service to our nation and he backed that up further by working at the Tobyhanna Army Depot for a great deal of his adult life.

Dad was humble about his service. He didn’t wear any service-related clothing or even talk about his time in the service, but I know how proud he was.

When I was a child, thanking a vet wasn’t a national movement like it is now. Veterans who saw combat usually came home and never talked about their experiences. It was something never spoken of.

Things are much better today. Thanking a vet is a great thing to do. It makes them feel good about serving and makes us feel good knowing we’ve been protected.

It’s nice that our vets are treated with more respect than in the past. The medical community recognizes that post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is a real thing and affects not only the soldier, but also the soldier’s family and friends.

If you’re visiting a loved one’s gravesite this weekend, stop by a grave with a flag on it and give a few minutes of thanks.

Don’t forget our Memorial Day parades taking place in greater Pittston Monday. The Wyoming/West Wyoming parade and the West Pittston/Exeter parade, will both step off in the morning, as will the Dupont parade.

The weather is scheduled to be a bit sketchy for Memorial Day so be prepared.

In the meantime, I will sit by my TV and watch the running of the 102nd Indy 500, one of the few races I try to watch flag-to-flag. I often get derailed for a project, work or doing a favor for someone.

Live local football will take place this coming Friday, June 1 at Wyoming Area Stadium when high school football players from both the east and west compete for the 68th annual UNICO Game. Kick-off is 6 p.m.

According to game chair attorney Bill Anzalone, UNICO will honor Paralympian and World Cup skier Stephanie Jallen at the game. A resident of Harding and a Wyoming Area graduate, Jallen recently competed at the Paralympic Games in South Korea.

Quote of the week

“There are two sorts of affection – the love of a woman you respect, and the love for the woman you love.” – Arthur Wing Pinero, English actor

Thought of the week

“When in doubt, do the courageous thing.” – Jan Smuts, former Prime Minister of South Africa

Bumper sticker

“Every failure is a step to success.” – William Whewell, English scientist

My Corner,

Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at