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Flowers at a Vietnam War Veterans Memorial in Springfield, MA, the day before Memorial Day 2019. (Photo by Carol M. Highsmith)

On Memorial Day, ohDEER Reflects on Those Who Fell in Defense and Preservation of Freedom and Our Republic

We Remember the Long and Deep Roster of the Sacrifices Made By the Men and Women Wearing the Uniform of Our Nation 

Those Sacrifices Include Being Subject to the Sometimes Lethal Attack of Mosquitoes 

ohDEER is the leader in all-natural deer, mosquito, and tick control.

We were founded in 2007, in Wayland, MA, the community which remains, as it always has been, the place of our corporate headquarters.  Out of this location, and our expanding franchise network, we service a geographic area that takes in all of Central Massachusetts and the entirety of the state moving eastward, including the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket; the eastern part of Long Island, NY; Central New Jersey; and Montgomery County in Maryland.

In this space, for Veterans Day 2019, we discussed the health threat that mosquitoes presented to members of the United States armed forces in the Pacific theater of World War II,, and last year, in celebrating July 4th, we published here a post on how the mosquito helped the American colonies win their war for independence.

On Memorial Day, keeping with a focus on and theme of military service and sacrifice in defense of liberty and protection of human rights — we expand on the dangers that mosquitoes have visited on our fighting men and women.

Troops in tropical regions of the globe — mostly in the Pacific rim,  Southeast Asia, and areas of Africa — have been and are hit hard by the malaria that mosquitoes spread.  And, while malaria was rarely, as it continues to be, fatal for soldiers, it surely sometimes is a killer, and during war it routinely … if temporarily … takes a large percentage of the warriors of a fighting force off the battlefield and places them in the hospital.

(One of the items in the immensity of the good fortune that Americans know is that malaria has been eliminated in this country.)

For some perspective on the threat mosquitoes pose to our soldiers, we point here to an excellent, informative, and interesting article, “The Mosquito can be More Dangerous than the Mortar Round — The Obligations of Command,” published in the Journal of Military Veterans and Health.  Authors of the piece are C. Hooper and U.S. Navy Reserve Medical Corps Captain Arthur M. Smith (Retired).

Consider this excerpt from the story that refers to an outbreak of malaria among U.S. Marines conducting an operation in Liberia in 2003:  “Almost 30 percent of the deployed military personnel contracted malaria, distracting military medical assets already committed to supporting combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

As America — as the planet — emerges from a pandemic, as we reacquaint ourselves with our customary freedoms, we are afforded a valuable perspective to view and take inventory of those freedoms, and to be grateful for those who have faced and continue to face the immeasurable suffering of bullets, bombs, explosion … and disease …to protect these rights.

And we should take the occasion of Memorial Day to extend a special measure of gratitude to those who fell and gave all to defend and preserve our home, who fell and gave all to defend and preserve our republic.