Monday, November 11, 2013

A Month of Gratitude - Day 11 (Veterans and their Families)

 Today, is Veteran's Day, and there's tons of news reports about how veterans are being honored.  And they should be - because signing up and saying "Sure, I'll go to war and die for my country if that's what needs to be done," takes guts.  No doubt about it.

But on this Veteran's Day, I want to thank their families for their service as well.

Thank you to the parents who join by default when their sons and daughters sign up.  No matter how "grown" your baby is, you worry.  Most are reunited, and I thank them and say a prayer of gratitude, but I especially thank the ones like Phil and Maureen Miller, who graciously accept accolades when they'd rather have their son, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller, in their arms and not his posthumous Medal of Honor.

By English: D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Army (
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Thank you to the husbands and wives who married into the military, knowing that they were only a phone call from being separated for a year or more, and two phone calls away from being notified they have joined the infamous "Gold Star" club.  Eyes were wide open at what could be "for better or worse," but no vows I've ever heard include "Uproot everyone every few years at the whim of Uncle Same."    Military spouses are the modern Ruths: 
Wherever you go I will go,
wherever you lodge I will lodge.
Your people shall be my people...

By: Sgt. Roe F. Seigle [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Thank you to the children who are "born into" the military.  Unlike their parents, they never signed on for any of this. The six-month-old babies meeting Daddy for the first time, preschoolers with videoed messages of Mom reading them bedtime stories, the older ones trying to hide their nerves as they navigate yet another move or deployment.

Finally, a thank you to my dear friend whose husband is deploying soon. I'm watching you try to cram in the holidays he'll miss, schedule the "just in case it's our last one" family portrait, and prepare to parent three kids on your own for over a year in a home you've just settled into and am amazed.  I'm thankful he is willing to be part of the military and go where he's told, but I'm in awe of the grace and poise your family is showing at this time, when I know you'd rather just say, "This isn't really a good time for this."    Know you - and the families you serve with - are covered in prayers for a safe and speedy reunion.

Veteran families

Thank you, Veterans for your service.  But military families - you deserve just as much credit as your soldiers for your service.  Thank you for all you do to keep up the Home Front.

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