Monday, November 11, 2013

For Soldiers and Sailors and Marines and Airmen and Coasties and Reservists...

... and all those who honorably serve or have served our country.



I read an article today on A Cup of Jo, and one of the lines struck my heart. It said, "I may be having a cup of coffee or taking a shower, but somewhere; it's the worst moment in someone's life."

On Veteran's Day that sentence seems to have a little more of an impact.

While I am showering (in hot water coming out of indoor plumbing)...

While I am going to class (in a country where, as a female, I have the privilege of an education)...

While I am sitting in a church (without fear of being persecuted because we have religious freedom)...

While I am at work (at a job that pays the bills)... 

While I plan my wedding (because I have the ability to choose my own spouse)...

While I am driving down the street (on roads that are paved)...

While I am living my life as an American citizen (in a country that is free)...

 

there is a military person...

who hasn't showered and is covered in dust or mud or sweat or blood...

who joined the military to pay for their education...

who misses their congregation and who prays (sometimes) fearful prayers for safety...

whose job is to be willing to give up their life for their fellow soldier, their country, Uncle Sam...

who hasn't seen their husband or wife in months...

who worry that the road underneath their vehicle may explode at any moment...

who give their lives, miss their families, deal with PTSD, and wear their uniform with pride so that I can live the life of the American citizen...


While I am going about my life, there is a soldier who has died; there is a soldier's spouse who has learned that their partner will not be returning. It is the worst moment of someone's life. There is a young man or woman on a plane to their first deployment, scared but proud. There is a soldier who has just watched his friend die. There is a father who has missed his child being born. There is a mother who wasn't there to help her daughter get ready for her first day of school. There is a young wife who got married while her husband was on leave and who barely got a honeymoon before he was gone again.

Military men and women lead a life that I would never have the courage to live. They are proud to serve; they love their careers. They support their families. They support this country. The military is not all bad and it isn't just like all the war movies, but military personnel are willing to pay a much higher price. They encounter challenges that are unique to them.

Earlier today I asked Nathan what was on his mind. He said, "The seriousness of my future and all that stems from military service." Someday, Veteran's Day will be for Nathan. He will have graduated and commissioned, and he will be an officer in the United States Army (Hooah!). And I will be proud of him, and I will hope that our country will be too.

Veterans do have a serious job; there is a weight that comes from serving a whole country full of people. There is a weight that comes from defending freedom- from the intense and passionate pride that accompanies their desire to serve.

Today, as we celebrate Veterans I pray that we would keep in mind that they do not only serve on Veteran's day. They serve 365 days a year with odd and exhausting hours. They serve because they have faith and pride in the idea of American Freedom.

They serve so that you have the freedom to disparage them and call them names and complain about the evils of war. So that you can spit on the flag and make disgusting insults about our country. They take those criticisms because they serve for something greater; they serve for all of you.

I do not pretend to know anything about being in the military or what each military person faces and feels. But, I do know how it feels when one of my cousins deploys; I know the fear and weight and pride that my family feels each time. I do know what it is like to see their parents and their wives an their children worry. I do know what it is like to include our military in our prayers. I do know how it feels to look forward to a life as a military spouse.

I do know that I am damn proud of our military men and women. 

Thank you to them. 



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