Thank You for Your Service

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In my family, I am blessed with quite a few veterans, though I would not consider us a military family. Still, I cannot help but feel gratitude, and a little bit of pride, for the love and service members of my family gave to our country.

During Operation Desert Storm, my cousin rode a tank into Kuwait, not knowing if the rumors of chemical weapons ready to be used against them were true or not. A note written by one of his best Marine friends to his mother was in his pocket. The letter my cousin had written to my aunt was in the pocket of his friend, who was riding in another tank. They promised each other that if one or the other did not make it back, the letter would be personally delivered. Thanks be to God neither letter had to be handed to a sorrowful mother. Instead, they delivered a people from an invasion of a terrorizing, repressive regime. To the people of Kuwait, my cousin is a hero, and I agree.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I have two uncles who served during the VietNam era. They never really talk about their service. It is a story they hold deep inside. They survived a difficult war and a divisive time in our history. Thanks be to God, it did not sour their humorous and loving personalities. They are generous with their compliments and quick to make us laugh. To me, my uncles are heroes.

“I know what it is to be in need, and what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.” (Philippians 4:12-14)

My father and my father-in-law were in the National Guard during a time of civil unrest. When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, my father was sent into Baltimore City to help keep the peace. After the shootings on the campus of Kent State, my father-in-law was called up for the same peacekeeping task in Ohio. Thanks be to God, peace was eventually restored.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God,” (Matthew 5:9)

My brother-in-law searched for land mines in Bosnia in order to keep the people there safe. Thanks be to God, my brother-in-law was kept safe, too.

“My God, my rock of refuge! My shield, my saving horn, my stronghold, my refuge, my savior, from violence you keep me safe. Praise be the Lord, I exclaim! I have been delivered from my enemies.” (2 Samuel 22:3-4)

My husband served our country in military intelligence. He humbly dismisses his service because he did not serve on a battlefield. Yet he was charged with gathering information in order to keep his fellow soldiers safe. And thanks be to God, he was stationed near me so that we could meet, fall in love, marry, and raise a family together.

“In peace I will lie down and fall asleep, for you alone, Lord, make me secure.” (Psalm 4:9)

Do you know a veteran? Did a family member or friend serve in the military? Do they have a story to tell? Why not call and thank them today? Then feel free to share their stories in the comments below.


Copyright 2018 Kelly Guest

 

 

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About Author

God has given Kelly lots of wonderful opportunities to follow Him. She was a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia in Nashville, an education coordinator for a Catholic Charities' program for pregnant teens, a middle school teacher, a director of religious education and is now a youth minister. Her most challenging and rewarding calling, though, is wife and mother of ten children. What she has learned, she blogs at CatholicMom.com.

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