Memorial Day

Memorial day

Less than 1% of the U.S. population have served in the armed forces.

 My hubby and I are in that one percent.  We both spent four years in the Air Force and met while serving overseas.  I also served almost 6 years in the Air National Guard.  I chose to get out of the military the fall of 1991 when I was pregnant with my second child, shortly after the Persian Gulf War.

 My unit didn’t go to the Persian Gulf because a very crucial piece of equipment was out for repair during this time.  Although my unit wasn’t activated, a few personnel were. Children had to stay with their grandparents when couples were activated for duty.  These are the kind of sacrifices that are made when people choose to serve their country.

I loved serving my country, but I also loved being a mom and I knew I could not do both jobs well.  I choose being a mom over having a military career.  I think it’s the best career choice I ever made.     ❤

I have never felt comfortable when people thank me for my military service on
Memorial Day.  Memorial Day is a day set aside for solemn remembrance of those who lost their lives while defending our freedoms.  My husband and I were once members of a church that gave recognition to veterans by asking them to come forward on Memorial Day.  We chose to stay seated during that church service because we felt this was not appropriate. They had good intentions, but definitely unfitting.

Our son is also a veteran, having served in the Army as a medic. He was stationed in Afghanistan for a year, not too far from the Pakistan border. He has shared some of what he went through but like most veterans who have experienced the traumas of war, he chooses to keep most of these to himself.  Memorial Day carries a new significance to us now because we know he has had friends who did not make it back home.

I want to challenge you to do something for veterans, and not just on Memorial Day.  There are many veterans who carry physical and emotional scars.  Research many of the great charities such as the Gary Sinise Foundation, CRU Military Ministry, and Operation Heal Our Patriots.  Volunteer at your local VA hospital or contact your local VFW.

Whatever you do, please do not thank a veteran for his/her service today.

 This can be an especially gloomy day for those who’ve lost friends either overseas or from the effects of PTSD.  Many veterans continue to fight an unseen battle, the psychological war from what they’ve gone through.  Thanking them for their service today may only hurt them further because they’re thinking of those who didn’t make it back.  Instead, invite them out to dinner or to your family’s barbecue.  Ask them if they’d like to talk about someone they served with.  Please serve them during the year, and not just on Memorial Day.

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 Heavenly Father, thank You for the bravery You have given the men and women who  selflessly serve our country.  Thank You for giving wisdom to military commanders and leaders.  Father, please protect those who are in harm’s way right now, guide their footsteps and blind the enemy to their comings and goings.  I lift up those who have lost friends and loved ones who were defending our country; please hold them close and comfort them as only You can.  I lift up those men and women who are fighting PTSD; please protect their minds from the things they’ve seen and experienced, and give wisdom to their families and physicians as they try to help them.   Please guide our government officials in ways to improve our VA system and please continue to expose flaws in the system so it can be improved.  Please show us all ways that we can each help our veterans, in ways that would bring glory to You.  I ask these thing in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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