Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day/ 11.11.11

I want to pause and sincerely honor those men and women in uniform.  Not to give empty lip service because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but to truly thank them for their service and sacrifice for this country.

They choose to leave their families for extended periods, travel to foreign lands and sometimes, put themselves in great danger.  Throughout time, they have faced loneliness, extreme conditions, horrible food, rigourous physical training and hostile enemies.

They have missed the births of their babies; missed the birthdays and school plays of their growing children and the life celebrations of friends and family. Some have even been gone during the loss of a loved one, leaving them far away from home and grieving alone.

Some have given their lives in the cause of preserving America’s freedom and way of life. Others come home broken in spirit or permanently scarred, missing limbs and suffering from memories too awful for most of us to comprehend.  The rehab continues for months and the nightmares, sometimes, for years.

We also need to consider the incredible sacrifices the families who are left behind endure.  Battling constant fear of losing their loved one. Extreme loneliness with little support from ‘civilians’ who haven’t walked in their shoes and don’t understand the pain they live with. The bittersweet sadness of the little milestones their kids achieve when Mommy or Daddy can’t be there to celebrate also. The constant uprooting and moving from place to place and holding down the fort, so to speak

Sometimes our veterans come home to families who hardly know them anymore.  They have to get acquainted with their spouse and kids again while learn to assimilate back into normal, everyday life.  At times, the pressure from trying to readjust is too much and marriages are lost as a result, breaking up the family permanently.

It bothers me greatly when people blow off holidays like Memorial Day or Veterans Day.  We need to take a few minutes to stop our never ending activity and soberly remember those around us who have faithfully served as well as those who are still away, doing their duty.

They need and deserve our prayers in so many ways.  Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your sacrifice, bravery and willingness to do what must be done to preserve freedom for the rest of us. Seriously. Thank you!

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