Veteran’s Day. My chest bursts with pride, love, patriotism, freedom, and blessing; and yet I experience loss, sacrifice and what-ifs as well. I have such mixed emotions about this day every year.
|S/Sgt William T. John|
My father died while serving in Vietnam. He proudly served his country, in a war that wasn’t officially a war, so that I would have the freedom to do what I am doing today – publicly voicing my thoughts. He died at age forty-five with almost thirty-years of military service. He and the military were a perfect fit for each other. He left behind a wife and four children, ages 21, 16, 11 and 6. Thanks to his sacrifice, I had the right to vote in the recent Presidential election. I am proud of my Daddy for his service.
My husband was wounded on March 8, 1968 by shrapnel from a mortar round. He healed from the physical wounds much faster than he healed from the emotional wounds he brought home from Vietnam. When his tour of duty ended, he came home to protesters blaming him for the war.
Unlike today, there were no “Welcome Home Troops” signs posted in airports, or organized groups of volunteers to greet them with, “Welcome home and thanks for your service.” We met when he came to his new duty station in Fort Gordon, GA. Exactly one year after he was wounded, we married. I am proud of Larry for his service. Thanks to his sacrifice, I was free to worship in the church of my choice this week.
These two men are heroes in my eyes. John 15:13 tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” These two men, and other military men and women, demonstrate a great love for fellow man and country. They not only lay down their lives for their friends, they lay them down for their enemies and for people they don’t even know.
Would you like to help me honor and encourage some young men and women who are currently protecting our freedoms in a combat situation? I have the address for a unit of twenty, fifteen men and five women. I am seeking a few people who will commit to sending a couple of cards a month for the next three months. If I get more than this unit needs, I’ll request another address from AnySoldier.com. Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the address.
Be a blessing and fill someone’s day with joy-