Thursday, November 10, 2011

~How Can Thank You Ever Be Enough?~

How Can a Simple Thank You Ever Be Enough?

I can't help but ask and meditate this question
when it comes to thanking our men and women who
have given and dedicated absolutely everything
they have and eerything that makes them uniquely them.

They so openly and givingly dedicate and sacrifice
every comfort, possession and even individual spoken words
in the effort and struggle to keep our nation and all it's
people free. They ask for so little. Just a simple thank
you and that so humbly asked. It just feels so inadequate...
so little and so few. For I owe them absolutely everything
for the freedom to write this blog, to conmplain and disagree
with what I do not like about our government, and the freedom
to worship the God and in the place I so desire. This list
can go on and on.. and still it takes me right back to
the feeling of it being so little and insignificant when I
hear and see the struggles and losses each service person has

I know that every person that serves is changed in some form or
another. Even if they never set foot on a battlefield or come
directly into harm's way. And many these days are coming home
from battle with losses and personal damages my mind can't even
begin to fathom. Just how do you come home and re establish and
reconstruct your life again after fighting in this war today?
This is the first time in history when our soldiers are coming
home from battle w/injuries sustained that in years past killed
former veterans. Our medical advances and modern technology has
surpassed the ability to save so many major injuries. And our soldiers
come home to rewrite the lives they now have.

I remember the images on TV of our Vietnam soldiers coming home in
body bags and how disturbing it all looked to my little mind. But I
do believe that we need to honor our fallen soldiers today on the TV
(maybe not their body bags) but at least a major mention on the news..
and not just the losse we sustain in our geographical location. Each
soldier gave the ultimate sacrifice, the least we can do is honor them
and let the families know they mattered

My paternal grandfather enlisted at an older age during WWII. He didn't
have to enlist as he had a wife and 2 sons at home. Several family
members tried to talk him out of it. The military has improved in many
areas as time has passed. My granddaddy had his heart set on the Navy.
Luckily, his oldest brother was worldly in the ways of the world. He
instructed under no uncertain terms to ever let the military office know
he wanted to go into the Navy. Grandaddy wasn't quite certain his
brother was right. However, when asked what branch he wanted during is
physical, granddaddy replied, "Oh I don't know.. anything but the Navy I
suppose"..or soemthing along those lines.. And sure enough.. he was
placed in the Navy! Uncle Arvie was a wise man and saved my gd lots of
unnecessary misery. World War II was a life changer for him and his
family. I do know that he was in Germany. And I cringe to think of what
he saw, smelled and heard. I do know that when he came home, he never
could talk about his service. It was just too painful. A yr. or two
before he died, he started a journal about that time in his life. He was
never able to get very far due to a vision disease that robbed him of
his sight. He was able to seek and find refuge and peace in his strong
strong faith in God and his connection to my grandmother.

My paternal grandmother had a younger brother, James, who served during
WWII in the Army. He found himself in a difficult situation when he
became MIA when his unit became overwhelmed from the Germans. Luckily,
he was found and harbored by a French family who kept him safe and I am
certain saved his life. He eventually made it back to the US.
Unfortuately, he was so mentally damaged by his war experiences and
sacrifice that he ended up in a mental institution. It wasn't until with
in the past few yrs that I learned the truth about my Uncle James. He
was a handsome young man who came home a very damaged and tortured soul.
AS did many men his age I suppose. The family story had always been that
James was lost and never heard from again. As if he came home and just
walked away from his family and life. I guess if you split hairs there
is much truth to that. But the other truth is he did come home and did
have a family that loved him. Today, I realize that times were different
and shame played a huge factor in concealing things that might not be
acceptable in the general public's eye. However, I can't help but
wonder how this lack of acceptance and secrecy of James's condition
affected my grandfather and the mental and emotional battle that he
himself faced and fought daily. Did it make him feel worse. And how
could it not put him in a place where it might be safe to share and
talk about his issues and emotions?

People say the old days were better. I happen to think that they were
better in some ways, but a long shot away from the openness and
acceptance that we have learned to understand. And what kind of help
James would have received today and the stigma that came along with his
illness back then. For a family to just tell everyone he was gone. Yes
he was gone, but he deserves so much respect in my eyes for the ultimate
sacrifice he gave. No, he didn't die in battle, but he did die in a
very important sense. His life was never the same. So I share his story
today so that his service and sacrifice not be minimalized to the
condition in which he returned. He deserves and gets my utmost respect
and gratitude for he never got to share in life's simple pleasures when
he returned.

Veteran's Day has been on my heart alot this year. I find myself drawn
more and more to all the Military holidays we have throughout the year.
And I want my kids to know, respect and most of all be so incredibly
grateful for all the sacrifices our men and women make in our behalf.
I can't even begin to fathom the thoughts and reactions they have when
return home. We complain, moan, whine and gripe about the smallest of
things. I would gather that they would like to stifle many of the
trivial things we make mountains out of mole hills. One of my favorite
bible verses got stuck in my mind. And I believe it fits so
appropriately when thinking about how my actions and words spoken can
possibly affect our military while home.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing
in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and Redeemer" Psalm 19:14

My favorite preacher taught me those words that I try to frequently
meditate upon. They bring me peace, calm and clarity in my reactions
and actions. And today, I think they should be personally used in how
I present myself in gratitude and calm in my daily life. May I not make
trivial mountains out of little ant beds.. even if those beds house
fire ants. This I can do to try and help our military. My actions can
effect others.

A simple thank you is all they ask. But we as a nation should DEMAND
that housing, medical, employment and emotional services be adequately
provided. We OWE it to them. And we need to demand that our govt.
make good on the debt we owe them. They will never call the loan on us
but we should absolutely make sure our debt is paid in full to them.

It goes without saying.. but THANK YOU to all Veteran's. May we
fully support you as you have for us. God Bless you and keep you safe!!

No comments:

Post a Comment