Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th Month

Today is a day that many Americans have come to know as a day off in the middle of the week and a time to find some great bargains at the mall.  How sad.  What began as a day to remember the end of World War I and the veterans of that war, had to be amended as our nation, sadly, was called on to send men and women to defend life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in other countries.  On this day, and in light of the recent shootings at Ft. Hood, please take time to think of all those who have sacrificed in all the wars and conflicts throughout history for our great country.  Thank a veteran, not only today, but everytime you meet one.  For without those willing to offer themselves up for the protection of our country and to bring our freedoms to the rest of the world, we could be living in a very different world.

I have many people I love and have loved that served in the military.  (Thanks for reminding me Starla.)  I could list them all but it would take so long.  Let me just say these few words about my experience with  those that serve and have served in the military.  I have always respected our servicemen and women.  They have always been at the top of my gratitude and prayer lists.  But I don't remember the wars that shaped our country and many of our family members.  I was born in 1967, the Summer of Love, and the time to protest the war in Viet Nam.  Growing up, family members talked about different wars and who served and who was lost but nothing ever reached into my heart and tore it out the way I'm sure it did to others in the past.  It wasn't until 2006, when we were 5 years into a war with Iraq and all the tyranny that had taken place there, that I felt that rip at my heart.  I won't go into all the details, but let me say that I experienced first hand what many others had experienced in the past.  I became acquainted with a soldier serving in Iraq by the name of H.  I communicated with him almost daily and he became a trusted and treasured friend.  I became acquainted with those he was serving with through his stories and pictures.  It all hit home the day I got a communication from a friend of his telling me he was under enemy fire and it didn't look good.  Through the excellent training and quick thinking of those around him, he returned safely to base and was able to return home shortly before Thanksgiving in 2006.  It had been his second tour in Iraq and he had just turned 21.
I will forever be affected by my friendship with H and the things I learned from him.  He is no longer serving our country and will soon be married.  He will be forever affected by his experiences in the "Sand Box."  Please keep him and all of our current and former servicemen and women in your prayers and thoughts.  No matter your beliefs, creed, religion, background, we live in a free country becase of those who fought to make it so.  It is the wish and prayer of many that our armed forces are able to bring the same freedoms to other countries as well.

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