LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Although Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, many people will be remembering their loved ones that lost their lives serving this country. For those currently serving, they’re honoring the ones that came before them.

“It’s not just another day off from work, but that we’re remembering the sacrifices,” said Miles Warren, a First Lieutenant for the Michigan National Guard.

During the day you can find Warren as a high school counselor at Michigan Connection Academy. At other times you can find him in his National Guard uniform.

“The amount of pride I had at the end of the day when I hang up my uniform, whatever job that might be from… I can rest easy at night knowing that I’ve done my part to help those that I serve,” he said.

Warren says since he joined 5 years ago, Memorial Day has a different meaning to him.

“Understanding that my brothers and sisters who wear the same uniform have been overseas, have been engaged in conflicts, and many of them have lost their lives. Knowing people who have lost their lives serving this country, it really humbles me,” he said.

He also looks up to those who came before him.
“I have taken on this leadership mantel where thousands of people before me have been in similar situations. It’s a blessing to know that I have their lessons that I can learn from,” he said.

During this Memorial Day, Warren says it’s important to remember to check-in on families who’ve lost a loved one while fighting for the country.

“We need to be able to support them in whatever they need. Whether that is a shoulder to lean on, someone to come mow their lawn, someone to just sit there with them, or maybe they need space. Just know what your loved ones need from you, and give it to them,” he said.

As a school counselor and Platoon leader for the National Guard his goal is to make a difference.

“It allows me to really feel humbled in knowing that my small part that I play is making an impact,” he said.

He also wants families to know their loved ones’ death is not vain.

“Know that your nation respects the sacrifice that’s been given, and we are all here together. The fact that we can celebrate on memorial day speaks as to why we’re able to do that given the sacrifice of our armed forces members.”