The cost of independence came at huge price.
Many fought for it, and not all those that fought made it home, they gave the ultimate cost, their life. For this we are eternally grateful and certainly pray for each family who had to endure this tragedy. So many tears have been shed for Ole Glory, for the very independence we enjoy.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13
Many gave much more. I know this point of view is different. Those who lost their life here on this earth, are now with Jesus. What life did they lose but their earthly life.
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body is to be
present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
The loss is to the families more than to the solider. They are safe in the arms of Jesus, but the family must go on without them. Some of those who made it home live with the guilt of the ones lost. They struggle to understand why their life was sparred.
As a 20-year retired military wife I can assure you that I gave up much more than I ever dreamed in the first 20 years of my marriage. In those years the number of milestones missed, the help raising our children that wasn't there, I was a single wife. It is not just a normal job when a person goes off to sea or a call of duty.
Yes, our country needs to be protected and we need strong people willing to fight and run into danger. However, they know the risk of such an act, and I had to come to terms with that. Most go into it knowing full well what the cost could be.
The loss of health, limb and sometimes life. The loss of family time, and bonding to your children at a young age is as great a loss as any when it comes to being a service member. I am in no way wanting to disrespect those whose lives were lost and now rest in heaven for their service to this country. But let's not forget the kids, spouses and families whose service members weren't home.
Let us not forget those that kept the home front going so that the service member could be fighting without worrying about home. To those we are also so very grateful. For their cost, while different for each homestead they still paid a cost to have that member away from home.
I mean, Christmas on board a ship is just not the same. They can do all the decorating they want to, but it's just not Christmas when your not home with the ones you love the most. My sailor stated "There was just not a holiday that I didn't miss home."
The military did a study on the effect of families when their service member leaves, and it stated that it was as if they had died. It's the same emotion.
So, every time a service member leaves home, the family goes through a period of grief. Every time! Short tours were not so bad, but those 6 month or longer ones, ugh! My sailor made it home and is alive and doing his best to recover from those 20 years in the navy even 15 years later.
There are parts of his very make up that will never be the same. He suffers from some medical issues and some emotional. He is very strong willed and doesn't really care for the doctors to diagnose what the issues may be. I am sure he is not alone. For someone to say there is an issue, I believe is worse than the issue itself.
When my grandfather returned from WW2, he was never the same. His struggles and PTSD (which wasn't identified back then) rippled through his family like a tsunami. Relationships between father and children were scarred and my grandmother worked so hard to hold it all together and she by the grace of God was successful. But the cost was great.
Most soldiers find God in those fox holes while bombs are going off my grandfather once shared. While taking cover under a truck full of explosives, he promised God that if he made it out alive, he would serve him the rest of his days and he did so as a pastor. I was told that the moment he returned he went church shopping right away.
I can't imagine a single solider not in heaven, because being faced with death, just causes us to lean into the hope of Christ and his free gift of everlasting life. Because if we are going to die here, we want to live on afterward in a place where there is no suffering, especially in the moment of suffering.
So, especially on this day, when it is not the same to be aways from home, to the kids, spouses, parents and to every service member still here on Earth, you are not forgotten. Your sacrifice is a gift to all.
May we all remember today that our gratitude is not to just to the ones who lost their lives, but to all that gave in every way. To God be the glory as our tears are put in thy bottle for our sorrows he remembers and kept safe therein.