CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- As a young man, I always wondered how I would protect my family and serve my community. I always imagined myself being a police officer. Growing up in a single family home, I understood how sacrifice was a crucial necessity to making a better life for my family.

When I became of age, I was approached by an Army recruiter. I enlisted in the U.S. Army, making the sacrifice to not only protect my family but to also defend the Constitution, my nation and the sentiments of freedom that many Americans hold dearly.

Standing in the military memorial cemeteries in Belgium during Memorial Day weekend, I was proud yet humble. As I stood in formation, I listened to the history and struggles endured by brave Soldiers who laid down their lives so others can experience the freedoms of democracy. In the end, I recognized that their sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice. It came freely and willingly which paved the way for a better tomorrow.

Nonetheless, I remained humble as I realized that all the service members standing formation with me those two days were walking in same the footsteps of the many brave men who came before us. They preserved an honorable tradition to ensure all people, no matter their origin or ethnicity, are still able to experience the freedoms of democracy.