Today is Veteran’s Day. News and all social media reminds us to thank our veterans. And most of us do. But most have no idea of the true sacrifice our military makes. I truly don’t understand the sacrifices made. We hear on the news about some soldier losing his/her life in Iraq or Afghanistan, and we are sorrowful, maybe even share on Facebook, “remembering the family in prayer,” but it really hasn’t impacted our daily lives.
My first recollection of a military person was when I, as a young child, heard the whispered conversation of relatives discussing how my Uncle Paul had never been the same since his experiences during World War II. He thought it was the enemy creeping up on his foxhole, so he shot, but it was his best friend.
Uncle Paul seemed quite normal to me, but then, I never knew him before. As an adult, I have thought of him – he’s been in heaven for many years – with sorrow and gratitude for what he went through.
My granddaughter, Cierra’s husband, Zack, suffered PTSD from his time in Iraq. He is a quiet, gentle young man, and unless you knew, you wouldn’t know by his behavior or demeanor. The Army has determined he was traumatized enough to deserve disability.
My oldest grandchild, Ethan, and his wife, Rachel, both currently serve in the Air Force. Ethan has done two tours in Afghanistan and Rachel one. In fact, their tours overlapped once by three months. One was in Bagram and the other in Herat. During that time, their small children – my great-grandchildren – had to live with my daughter and her husband, their grandparents. When the two-year-old was hospitalized with pneumonia, there was a frantic couple of hours while phone connections were made to a worried mother in Afghanistan.
Ethan and Rachel are both in the medical field. When Ethan returned to Afghanistan, he requested to not be sent as an EMT again. It was traumatizing to work on his wounded friends, some who died. But, of course, medical is what they needed him for.
Another of my grandsons, Jacob, is in the Navy. While on a submarine for seven months, his marriage fell apart, and his wife left with, taking their toddler son. “I thought I could do this, but I can’t,” she said. When he returned, it took several months to reconcile, but they did. Thank God.
These are some of the sacrifices. So, with a heart filled with gratitude, I take this time on my blog to say THANK YOU to all military past, present, and future. It seems an inadequate tribute to those who lay their lives on the line for our freedom. May God bless and keep you.