Remembering the veterans
In a few days, it will be Veteran's Day; a day to remember all the men and women who have been asked to or who have volunteered to give up their comfortable and safe lifestyles to hold a monster of a gun and are placed in an environment where they pray often for another day of life. And we remember those courageous men and women whose prayers weren't answered and never made it home.
As if we need one special day to remember the veterans; we should remember them on a daily basis and thank them for the freedoms they have given us.
None of us really know - not even a spouse - what it is like to walk in those military boots.
As I have mentioned before, I have a nephew currently serving in Iraq with the 125th Field Artillery Unit, where many members of the SL unit are also serving.
There is an awesome chaplain that my nephew has spent a great deal of time with, and most likely many others have as well. This chaplain is there for the soldiers to laugh with them, mourn with them and pray with them. In addition to regular church services he posts his thoughts on the war and situations he and the other soldiers are dealing with online - which serve as a comfort to anyone who reads them.
Check him out yourself at www.onlinechaplain.com.
At this time, Veteran's Day, I share a few of his excerpts.
Real Live Heroes
Anyone who answers the call of duty is in my mind a hero. Especially, in the Era of Terrorism we live in today. Unlike wars of the past, almost all deaths in theatre are the cause of random selection. War is no longer one force pitted against another in some sort of field of honor. The enemy we face is the enemy of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You need not make a mistake to die, you simply may have decided to take a right, instead of a left. The decision to get a haircut, instead of go to the px, may be the one that puts you in the path of an errant rpg round launched by insurgence.
Anyone who answers the call of duty in this generation lives with the anxiety caused by "the random nature of things". Thank God there are men and women who are willing to enter this arena for the sake of others, let this arena pick away at their stability, and pay a price few others are willing to pay. Thank God for them!
Last week I visited with a soldier who was having troubles back home. The soldier was in my opinion appropriately ticked off. He had the same reactions... that I have every night watching the news. The reaction is something like this. Do those knuckleheads realize I am at war? Do they understand what real problems look like, the kind that wake you from a dead sleep in the middle of the night with images you would rather not see and fears you would rather not feel? Been awaken in the middle of the night by explosions lately?
It drove my soldier to say something profound, "They ought to walk in my boots for a while." Indeed, it would be good for all of us to think about the shoes of a soldier, and if not a soldier at least one another.
We shall care when we want to complain. We shall reach out when we want to withdraw. We shall put an arm around a shoulder when we want to give a slap up alongside the head. We shall, because God did. It never hurts to put on another person's boots. Actually, it might hurt. But, it is still the right thing to do.
My final thought for Veteran's Day is this - think about the soldiers today and the next day and the day after that. Thank the old veterans and pray for those still serving.