I think it goes without saying that our military and their families know a sacrifice and courage that we will never understand.  It is because of this sacrifice and their courage that we can sit here dumbfounded and naive as to what they go through everyday.  It is because of them that we can go on with our daily lives and forget that there are soldiers dying every day.  I heard a poem yesterday at a veterans day celebration that I had heard years ago and resignated a familiar patriotic respect in my heart:


It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

©Copyright 1970, 2005 by Charles M. Province

I think it also goes without saying that every prayer and moment of silence should be spent honoring the fallen men and women who have given a sacrifice only Jesus could know.  Make a point to take a single moment out of your day to pray for their families, children… loved ones who will now spend the rest of their lives clinging to pictures and mementos because its all they have left.  Pray for the men and women who today are sleeping in the desert sand; fighting for a freedom we all take for granted.  Pray for their family and loved ones that worry everyday and fear a phone call or knock on the door that will cause their world as they know it to come crashing down.  Pray for our service men and women who are behind the scenes yet just as important as the soldier in the dirt holding a gun; the ones in an office building, the ones still in the safety of our country or a military base, the ones training or teaching, the ones advising and interpreting…. these people spend each day fighting just as hard and make a huge difference in this war, yet no one ever notices.  Please pray for them as well.

I see this picture of a HUGE tribute tattoo and I think of my family.  I come from a family of unconditionally patriotic souls; men who would have given anything to be able to fight in this war and serve their country but couldn’t.  I have met many military men and women who have complained about their job or their duty and their sacrifice of freedoms so that others can have theirs.  In these moments I get so frustrated and angry.  WHY?! Why would people so hardened and bitter be serving our country but not my husband or his brother who even now would still jump at any given moment if they were given the chance??  It is sad to me that they have lost sight of what they are doing and why. It’s sad to me that a lot of them didn’t even join the military because they loved their country and wanted to make a difference…. If you don’t love what you do or have a passion for why you are doing it how can you truly be willing to serve your country?  Maybe this is another one of those situations that I don’t understand and probably never will.  All I know is that it saddens my heart to know there are men and women out there that could make a huge difference in this world if they could only soften their hearts and see the role they play, everyone has a purpose and is important and deserves to have pride in what they do.

I want to say THANK YOU to all my friends and family who have ever served in the military and who are currently serving in the military.  I want you to know that I know.  I understand.  And I thank you for what you do.  I am proud to call you my friends and to share my life with you.  I am proud to pass on stories to my kids of their grandfather’s time in the service.  I am proud to know that I support and encourage you in your time of need.  I may not be able to go shoot a terrorist in a far off country or be trained for top secret work but I can feed you, listen to you, encourage you, make you laugh, love you, open my home to you, honor you, and Thank You. Dont ever think your time, effort and sacrifice has gone unnoticed or unappreciated. I notice and I appreciate YOU.


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