Veterans Day

veterans day

Veterans Day is a special day for me as I reflect back on my military career this far and remember those with whom I have served. Some still alive that I stay in contact with and spent part of the day today with a very good friend from my time in Iraq. I think about others with whom I served who paid the ultimate price. Others paid a huge price and carry their wounds still. Some visible some not. I think about all those who serve now or have ever served in all the branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard as well as those in the National Guard and Reserves. They are all brothers and sisters in arms. But those who have served in combat are those with whom I have the closest bond.  Of course those I served side by side with through intense fights are the closest of all. Non-combat veterans and Civilians will never understand that bond. There’s also a bond between combat vets from different conflicts.  I have some close friends that served in WW2, Korea, Viet NAM and elsewhere who understand the experiences we all endured. Different in ways but similar in others.

To those I served with in Ramadi and to all combat veterans who put themselves in harm’s way I thank you all with the fullest depth of gratitude I possess. You honor me by including me in your ranks.

I also thank all veterans from all branches and all conflicts who were willing to put themselves in danger and to serve our nation. I thank you.

But. There is one who did not see combat during His life and least not that type of combat. The enemy He fought was a far greater danger to humanity. IS A FAR GREATER DANGER!  And He sacrificed Himself, pure, righteous and holy, for all of us sinners. So, despite not being in an Army, Christ is the ULTIMATE VETERAN!

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

 

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45

 

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:15-18

 

I have served in the Army and I’ve placed myself in harm’s way and risked my life for others. I do not consider myself a hero; I was doing what I was supposed to do and needed to do. But, I served along side some truly heroic people. But I know serve the TRUEST of heroes, Christ my Savior and Redeemer.

 

Lord God,  I praise and worship at Your feet, thanking You for so great a love as Christ had to give His life for me and others like me, for all of us sinners. In The name of Jesus I pray that all my brothers and sisters in arms come to know you and that you give them peace and comfort. Heal their wounds, the seen and unseen wounds, the physical and emotional wounds they carry. Bless them for their sacrifices. More than that bless Jesus for the ultimate sacrifice.  Please make me worthy of the price He paid.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. Please, thank a vet, he or she put a lot on the line for us all. Have a blessed day, and be a blessing to someone else as well.

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Memorial Day!

cemetery

I just wanted to take a minute and think about my brothers and sisters in arms, regardless of war or branch of service that were they who gave their lives.

For many people Memorial Day is a long weekend, the start of summer, barbecues and such. Many will visit the cemeteries to visit the graves of family members who have died. Others will be sure to thank veterans and the military. Today is a day for those who died in the service of the country. I don’t object to the other things, and for many years, that was my Memorial Day.  But, for those of us who serve or served in the military at war, it develops a different holiday. Those of us in that group have more than likely lost friends, some many, some only a few, but regardless of when or where, ANY who died in the service of our nation are brothers and sisters. I lost friends, acquaintances and saw others die as I tried to help them. Some, many I never learned their names but those I counted as friends, their names are forever seared into my mind. Some I can tell you about when and how, others, I can talk about that and what was done to try to help them to no avail. It matters not to me, they are all FAMILY! A family that has bonds that others cannot understand. I have spoken with veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts, when the conversation moves towards anything combat related there is a subtle, knowing look exchanged. No words required. We see and feel each others pain and sorrow from those things.

It is Thursday as I write this, I had lunch with a friend of mine from our time together in Iraq. We went through some pretty significant events together. But, the conversation is rarely, if ever about that, we know, we needn’t speak of such. Rather, we talk about other guys that were there, funny moments, well, compared to the rest of the time. Today, conversation of Iraq was the mud that you encounter there in the winter and other minor details that help us remember the less bad times there.

But, as you prepare your celebrations, PLEASE, take a moment to remember those who were lost. And, pray for those in harms way now that God keep them all safe.

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

 

Lord, I pray to you in the name of Jesus that You keep all the military members safe from harm and bring them home to their families. Be with those whose family members died, give them the peace and comfort only YOU can provide. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of those people, the families and the military that You draw them to You and lead them all to salvation.

 

Amen