Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 11

It feels cliche' to be thankful for the men and women who have served our country today, but I can't help it.  To my grandpa, my Uncle Pat, my cousin Peter, my brother-in-law Jim, and countless other friends and family who have served or are serving, I say thank you.  I am thankful FOR you.  You have each given so much to protect and defend our great nation, and I will be forever grateful to you!

I don't understand what it's like to say goodbye to your family and head into a battle zone.  I can't even guess what emotions are boiling over.  I've seen the pain firsthand, though, in the eyes of military mommies and daddies as they say goodbye to their children and pray that they'll see them again.  Thank you, thank you, for your sacrifices as you walk out those doors not knowing if you'll be back, but praying that you will be, and soon.

I don't understand the pain of the spouses, the children, the parents, of the men and women of the military as they say goodbye to their hearts and pray that they'll see them again, and soon.  I've seen the pain in their eyes firsthand, though, and I can't imagine the fear and pride that well up simultaneously with those goodbyes.  And so today I am thankful for the families of our military men and women.  Families that give everything for this country, but get little recognition for that sacrifice.

I can't imagine what it's like to be a military man or woman sitting stateside, in an office, in a lab, doing what many of us consider an "everyday" job.  There are no everyday jobs in the military.  I commend you and thank you for your dedication and service, whether or not you've been in a war zone.  You still give all, and we still need you.  Thank you for your commitment to keeping me safe!


Today I drove by our local Social Security office and noticed that it was closed in observance of Veteran's Day.  I commend our government for honoring these men and women.  I was frustrated, though, to see that right next door at the National Guard Armory, life carried on as usual.  The lot was full.  Uniformed men and women walked around the campus carrying out business as usual.  How sad it is, to me at least, that here on this day when we "honor" our military men and women, people who have never served get a day of vacation, while those still serving continue to carry out their work.  I want you to know, men and women of the military, that I appreciate your dedication and commitment to my freedom!  I don't think it's fair that you have to work while others get that day of vacation to HONOR you.  I thank you for your tireless efforts on our behalf...on MY behalf!

Today and always, I am thankful for our military, past, present and future.


Dear Lord, the men and women who serve us do so with a kind of dedication and commitment few of us civilians will ever understand.  We don't know what it must be like for them to put their lives on the line every day for the benefit of people they've never even met.  You understand, though.  You've done that very thing yourself.  You gave your life, as do many of the men and women that serve us, for our freedom.  Today, Lord, I ask you to bring hope and comfort to those currently serving.  I pray that you show us ways to honor the memory and legacy of those who have gone before us.  I pray that you'd show us clear ways to honor those who are no longer serving.  And I pray for those yet to serve.  I pray for the children, the three, seven, eleven year old children, who will one day serve this country (and those around the world).  Lead them and guide them so that when that day comes, they'll be as prepared as possible.  Thank you, today, for the willingness of so many to give everything.


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