Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Celebrating OUR Soldiers, Celebrating MY Soldiers!!

Veteran's Day is a big deal for us. Gideon plans a huge cookout, Charlie wears his uniform if situation allows (unfortunately today he has to work at his civilian job and there is no place in a refinery for non-flame retardant attire) and our family praises God that while we are certainly no more special than any other military family, we have the distinct and very blessed and humbling ability to claim that all of our soldiers are home safely, after almost 10 tours of duty between the dad, the sons and the son-in-law. We lost a very very dear friend in June, and that made our 100% safe return blessing even more precious. Caleb and Charlie lost a close friend and comrade at Christmas time in 06, Gideon lost two comrades during his tour in Iraq. It could have been any of MY GUYS as quickly as it was someone else's and I have not taken a day of that for granted, not as I prayed for my guys and the others serving around them or as we helped with funeral arrangements and attended funeral and graveside services for our fallen friends. Our dear friend Scott was memorialized at our daughter Hannah's wedding with a military traditional place setting in his honor. BUT TODAY IS TO HONOR OUR LIVING VETERANS even as we think about those who gave their lives! It is amazing to me how incredibly well-trained our soldiers are that we have "only" (and those of you who know me know I do NOT use that word lightly in any fashion!!!) lost the number of soldiers we have lost. It is a tribute to our military, from the youngest Private E-1 grade up to our Generals and Washington DC Top Brass and to our President that as of today 12 of the 18 Iraqi provinces which once were in shambles and tyranny are now officially and on he record as being turned over to and being run by the Iraqis............Afghanistan is ongoing but we are strong and smart and we will not quit. For our soldiers VICTORY is the only way in which to leave a war and it is my prayer for our military in the months and 4 years to come, that the administration keep that goal and that objective clearly in their thoughts as they discuss and plan for the future.
I am so proud of our military, proud of my son who is serving in Iraq right now, (his 4th tour in the middle east) and proud of my son who is leaving for his second tour in just a few short months. I am so proud of my husband who served two tours nearly back to back in Baghdad and then in Ramadi, I am proud of my son who served one tour in Iraq and came home with some permanent disabilities, proud of my son -in -law who served a tour with the Marines in Iraq. These brave soldiers accompanied by so many others have protected our freedoms and upheld and secured the freedoms of millions of other people, at the expense of their lives, their backs, their eyes, their shoulders, their knees, their safe and comfortable family time at home, enduring nearly indescribable discomforts of extreme cold and extreme heat, sometimes in the same day. THEY DIDN'T GO BECAUSE THEY WERE DRAFTED AND "HAD TO" GO, but BECAUSE THEY VOLUNTEERED TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY, and OUR WORLD. Find a soldier somewhere today and thank them for all that they have done and are doing? We have the great country we do because throughout our history brave Americans have served to protect our great land, and WE THE PEOPLE!


Charity Marek said...

A big "THANK YOU" to your family and many like yours. Bless all our soldiers today! We are grateful!

love2bmom said...

We respect and appreciate all that your guys have done for us and for our country.

Will you thank them for us today?

God Bless you and yours and the sacrifice that you have borne for the rest of us!!


Jill said...

What an awesome tribute to your boys and all those who serve this great nation. Thank you to your family and all those who sacrifice their lives for ours!

Love, love, love the pictures of the children getting their gifts from you! PRECIOUS!!!!

Oh I can't wait to see them home!

Big hugs and lots of love,

Laurel said...

Beautiful post!

My eldest served 2 1/2 years in Iraq, and saw several close friends lose their lives.