Skip to main content

Paying Respects in Mississippi

USMC Staff Sergant Jason Rogers
Paying your respects is an interesting phrase. The Cambridge dictionary defines it as:

- To visit someone in order to welcome them or talk to them. "We went to pay our respects to our new neighbors."

- To honor someone after their death, usually by going to their funeral. "Friends and relatives came to pay their last respects to Mr Clarke."

We seem to have forgotten what respect is all about. We think it is something someone has to earn. The man or woman sweeping up trash on the street doesn't desire a smile or greeting. We don't know them and we look down upon their job. They don't deserve our respect, right? Wrong.


Because of one's skin color, they can be ignored or held in contempt without seeing them as a person with a spirit. They are a walking agenda to be loathed, right? Wrong.

If someone goes off to fight a war we disagree with we should spend more time complaining about the Administration's decisions or promoting peace, right? Wrong.

While every person you encounter deserves your respect just for being human, we should respect military service men and women even more. Regardless of their reasons, they have chosen to help defend our country through tasks, operations, jobs, and training that many of us cannot imagine. Equally, many of us cannot imagine the pride families of service men and women experience when their father, mother, son, daughter, sister or brother serves in the military.

Nor can we imagine the pain of learning of their death. Many return to quiet ceremonies. Honorable burials. Long goodbyes.

Few are able to receive the homecoming USMC Staff Sergant Jason Rogers received when his body returned home to Brandon, Mississippi, on April 14, 2011. A graduate of Brandon High School (Class of 2000), Jason was killed in Afghanistan by an IED.

The video below was Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Elmo Townsend’s view as his dash cam recorded the escort from Airport Road and along Highway 80. Hundreds of onlookers gathered to pay their respects.

Born and raised in Mississippi, this amazing video doesn't surprise me. As much negative press as my state receives, I know that unless one has lived in Mississippi, one cannot understand how we think and see the world. Our way isn't backwards, simple, or ignorant. Those perceptions are from the entitled unfortunates who haven't taken time to literally stop and smell the roses.

Whereas one might think that streets should be lined for living soldiers deploying or returning home, in the South we see this person as a family member returning home and want to show his family and friends that we appreciate the sacrifice. That we're here to help. That we love and care.

Watch this video and thank the next solider you see for their service and sacrifice.

Popular posts from this blog

Being Intentional About Weight Loss

At the time of this post, I've lost 61 pounds, and I've accomplished this with no workout routine. I feel amazing! Want to know how I did it? Read on.

See You Around, Mike

Three weeks ago, I attended the memorial service of a dear Brother in Christ. Sunday, June 10, would've been his 56th birthday.
I miss my friend. But what's sad is that I didn't miss Mike until he was gone.

At least in the middle of the odd month, but definitely by the last week of it, Mike would always reach out to me with a request. It was usually to load a certain worship music video or some game show music. Sometimes, he needed some specific slides created or sound effects. Mike put a lot of thought into preparing the lessons.

For certain lessons, Mike asked the kids to write something that was bothering them or something that was a sin. Then he had them take hammer and nail to that card and attach it to an old rugged cross. Mike often brought in props to physically connect the Bible stories to the kids. For example, when he dressed as an innkeeper and walked in a wheelbarrow full of fresh cow manure. He was adding the smell of a barn to the lesson just to help set th…

What A Year

With a new year, looking forward and backward is important. Looking ahead is important to set goals and milestones of what to accomplish in the coming year. Reflecting on the past year is important to consider areas of growth and areas needing improvement.

Looking back on 2017, it's hard to ignore that I've been in the swamp of a layoff for half of it. December marked 6 months since the last day of work at AOL and 4 months since separation from the company.

So, what are some lessons I've learned from this journey?