Today we honor the memory of the men and women who have given their lives protecting the freedoms and benefits that we as Americans possess and enjoy every day. We honor also the men and women who have been and who are presently engaged in aiding and fighting for the oppressed people of the world and representing the heart and soul of their country to the rest of the world. My grandfather was a WW1 veteran. My father served during the Korean conflict. I have many classmates who fought in Vietnam. My son is serving overseas at present.
Thank God for our brave brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, who volunteer to put themselves in harm’s way in order to uphold the ideals that have made our country the world leader in every measureable category.
As we honor these wonderful men and women we must remember that they do not exist in a vacuum. They have families; wives and husbands and sons and daughters, mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers. These family members have signed on to support their soldier, often picking up and moving at a moment’s notice. They live knowing that their loved one could be sent into a combat zone or dangerous situation at any time.
The military families are held to army standards, submitting to inspections and subject to many rules and regulations that most of us would balk at. If our spouse’s job required that kind of scrutiny and compliance most of us would steer our loved one to a different career in a hurry.
In the past the support for our military families was plentiful, as family and friends and whole communities chipped in with time, companionship, and financial support when needed. Over the past half-decade, however, families have become separated as our society has become more migratory. People move more often, losing the benefits of long developed roots, roots connecting us with our emotional, spiritual, and financial safety nets. Often the suffering and needs of the military family go undetected while they suffer alone.
The sacrifice made by our military families cannot be forgotten. If you know someone who has a deployed spouse, especially a mother or father with a young child or children, you could take time to drop in on a regular basis. Sometimes just having an adult voice in the house can relieve a world of stress for someone who spends the majority of their time chasing the rug rats around the house.
If you are close you could offer to watch the kids for an hour while he or she relaxes or takes a run. Offer to do some shopping for them when you go yourself. Most important, make sure that they have a friendly ear and a shoulder to lean on. It can make such a difference for them just knowing that they are not alone.
It is so important for the safety and well-being of our soldiers who are deployed, as well as to how they can concentrate on their often life and death decisions, that they know that their families are well and have the support that they need at home.
As the father of a deployed soldier I have seen the effects of separation to his family and the hardship that it creates for him when his family is struggling with a problem at home. I take my responsibility for helping very seriously, but I alone cannot give my daughter-in –law and their three children all the support that they need. It takes a cooperative effort to be there when they are down or discouraged or hurting with the separation from their Daddy.
Not only do the guys and gals who are over there defending our comfortable butts need and deserve to know that their efforts and sacrifice are appreciated, their families need to hear a big thank you in the form of support and appreciation for what they do.
Thank God for our wonderful young men and women of the military and thank God also for all the wonderful family members who make such a large sacrifice themselves to support the huge sacrifice made by their soldier.
There was a time when our whole country joined to take up the slack in time of war. We were a real country then, not just a bunch of people who live here. Maybe we could become a country again.