I Blog For Books

20 January 2009

From Mom

Picture this: your seventeen year-old comes home and says "Mom, I need you to sign permission papers so I can join the Army." After overcoming the shock, I talked with her father (he had to sign as well). We decided that if the military was her choice, then we would give our permission. We signed, she signed ... and started her senior year of high school with a plan mapped out for the four years of her life following graduation. (written 5 Oct 07)

I feel like I should tell you right off the bat that I am a staunch supporter of our military. Where ever they are, whatever job they are assigned .. they have my support. Combine 15 years as an army wife with four years as an army mama, and I wouldn't suggest that anyone denigrate our military within my hearing.

I still get chills when the Star-Spangled Banner is played, and don't know that I've ever heard "Taps" without tears coming to my eyes. Twelve years ago when my stepfather was laid to rest, the honor guard tautly folded the flag and presented it to my mother. At the time, I didn't know which hurt worse: watching that solemn ceremony, or seeing my husband standing straight and proud in his Army dress uniform as he paid his respects. Four months ago, I once more heard "Taps" accompany the presentation of the flag. My stepmother was presented with that taut triangle; I struggled between the agony of losing my father, and the heart-rending sight of my oldest child battling her emotions as she stood at attention. White-knuckled fists clenched at her side, tears flowed unchecked down her pale cheeks. She stood proudly, military bearing evident in every inch of her young body as she paid her final respects to the granddaddy she loved so much.

Today, I received an email about our military. We've all seen it, probably forwarded it more than once. Could I do what my daughter, her father, and her stepmother do? No, I don't believe that I could. The sacrifices that our American service members make every day are taken for granted by so many. They leave home, often for long periods of time, and sometimes not knowing when (or if) they will return. I could list pages and pages of sacrifices they make so we can enjoy the freedom we sometimes take for granted. At the end of one of the military emails that I've received is a simple and powerful statement. I'm not sure of the exact wording, and I do not know who wrote it, but I offer this for your thought: "Only two people have ever died for your freedom. One is the American soldier. The other? Jesus Christ." When you lift your voice in prayer, remember our service members.

Jesus, I thank you for the brave men and women who protect us. Please keep your watchful eye and loving hand over them; protect them as they protect us. Thank you for giving them the courage to do the jobs that they do. May I never take for granted the rights and freedoms that so many have died for. May I always remember that you died so that I may live. Thank you for considering me worthy of that sacrifice.

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." ~Hebrews 13:5-6 KJV

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