‘God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.’ 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
I celebrate Veteran’s Day just as much as anyone else does. I consider myself a patriot, I honor our flag, I sing our national anthem with my hand over my heart, and I love my country. I honor and take pride in the many veterans and current men and women who are serving in our armed forces. Without them, we would not be free today.
But I had many different feelings when it came to my sons when they were involved in the wars of our age. I have two sons who have served valiantly, no matter where they have been sent. Whether it be right here in our nation, or halfway across the globe, they served selflessly, giving of their time and talents generously, and making a difference whatever they were doing, and wherever they were doing it.
My sons, Mike and Chris, are wonderful examples of the American soldier. They are members of the U.S. Army, though actually Mike retired just a few months ago. He served one tour in Iraq, and two in Afghanistan. He was ‘Airborne, Hooah!’, and loved jumping. Chris is a Combat Camera guy, having lived the term literally in Afghanistan for two tours. Now he is a Combat Camera instructor here in the states. They both made a difference while at war, and wherever they were stationed abroad, and now are continuing to do that here within our borders, Mike in the way he lives his life, and Chris in that and in his military service. Both of these boys will be soldiers forever. And I am so very proud of them both, for their service, and for the men they have chosen to be.
Moms are proud of their military kids. But we live on the edge of fear most of the time, especially when they are at war. I am so grateful for our technology today. We have email, phone calls, and a much faster mail system. We have Skype and Face-time! Even though I don’t know how to use the latter, I benefited greatly from email and telephones. But once the conversation stops, the unknown begins again. And I well remember the sleepless nights, the moments of fear freezing up the breathing process, seeming to come out of nowhere. Did something just happen, and I am feeling it? Is God preparing me for the worst? It is how we spend our days and nights when one of our children are in harm’s way.
God is the only One we can call on for the peace we need to be able to survive, to keep the home-fires burning, to keep a sane thought in our heads. He reminds us that He is in control, and any where our child may be, He is there with them.
Celebrate this Veteran’s Day, giving thanks to all those who have served to keep us free. Thank the ones who are serving now, and those who will be serving, as they are making the choice to do so, and it is an honorable one indeed. Remember the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and remember their families.
But most of all, thank God, for He is the One who sends them, who protects them, and who gets the job done, and keeps us all free.
‘The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.’ Psalm 29:11 (NIV)