PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Fritz young served three years in the Navy during World War II.
"We've got a good country. We have to look after it," Fritz Young said.
For him though, remembering what it takes to keep our nation free is often difficult, but necessary.
"It was hard when you had to be out there, I'll admit that. We went through a lot of real close calls out there, especially in submarines," Young said.
Memorial Day offers a chance to shine a well-deserved spotlight on our country's heroes.
"I think it's great we remember. We can't forget things like that," Young said.
Right now, almost 1.5 million U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are deployed in war zones or combat missions worldwide. The 3000th coalition service member -- a U.S. sailor -- has died in Afghanistan.
Veterans speak highly of America the beautiful and its freedoms.
"Look at it. Any place you want to go, you can just like this....," Young said.
"We have food, we have jobs, we have homes. America's the greatest. Where else would we want to live?" Richard Bumback, who served in radio communications in the U.S. Army, said.
These veterans said they do have a few hopes, though.
"I think people need to be more friendly, more courteous, more kind, and just take care of yourself and take care of your neighbor," Bubmack said.
So it stays the same America that kept them fighting hard.
"We knew we had a home to come back to," Young added.
For younger generations and generations to come -- four words of advice -- with a bit of plea behind them.
"Keep our country free," Young said.
Veterans we talked to said they do want people to enjoy the food, family, and friends the weekend brings, but they also hope they remember the true meaning behind the holiday.