This is a repost by Michelle from Memorial Day 2012. Her message is as relevant one year later.
by Michelle Welch
“So put on all of God’s armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing.”
Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)
The first time I heard the word war was when my uncle came back from Vietnam. It was difficult for a young girl to understand all that the word war meant. I was born long after WWII. Vietnam did not really touch home as we weren’t in an age of 24/7 news coverage. By the time I was a teenager, we had been at peace so long that it never really crossed my mind. Today I realized that my children have never known a time when we were not at war or a family member was not in harm’s way.
I did not grow up in a military family. While my family was deeply entrenched in the defense contracting world, it didn’t translate to an understanding of what it meant to be military. When I became an Army wife, my whole world changed. The “real” world slipped away slowly over the years. All I knew was BDU’s, AIT, 82nd, legs, jump masters, E1,2,3 and so on down the line. My world was family support group, Sicily drop zone at midnight, the case lot sale at the commissary, and the long lines at the credit union on pay day, which was the 1st and the 15th (the dates our lives revolved around).
I have always been married to the military. It has become so ingrained in my way of thinking that I am caught by surprise when people don’t understand what I mean when I say that my son in laws both “came up on the list” (promotions) or that I am required to show a DD214 for a vacation at an MWR (retirement paperwork; Morale, Welfare, Recreation) The fact that I have my husband’s social security number memorized but I can’t remember my own is something only a military wife can understand.
As the mother of soldiers serving in war zones, there is a loneliness that only other soldier mothers can understand. While you can join in a conversation about summer activities, college acceptance letters, and the difficulty of finding summer jobs, they look at you like you have grown two heads when you talk about your child’s FOB (forward operating base), the difficulty of filling out a PS2976-A (customs form), or the “window” of your child’s return date.
This weekend will be spent by many Americans swimming, boating, camping, cooking out. It is the start of the summer holiday (for the kids at least). All of these things are a great way to enjoy time with family and friends. But, and this is a very big but, please remember, dear friends, that your ability to enjoy your holiday weekend has been and will continue to be, paid for by the sacrifice of the one percent of America that serves in the Armed Forces. These brave men and women are willing to die to keep America a free country. They, and all the ones who have gone before, are all that stands between us and the evil forces that Satan rallies against our freedoms.
Take the time before each day to pray with your family and friends for the safety of the soldiers. Give gratitude for the ones who have given their lives. Pray that God will bring comfort to the families of the fallen. More than anything, remember those that never came home and are still missing. Remember that our ability to work, play, attend church, read this blog, go to school, and thousands of other daily activities are possible because of their sacrifice. Pray also for the family members who live every day with the fear that their father/mother/daughter/son/brother/sister/aunt/uncle/friend won’t come home. Ask our Father in Heaven to please give them (us) the peace that surpasses all understanding. Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
Dearest Father God, we come before you at this time to beg for Your protection for those serving in harm’s way. Please bring them home safely. Please place Your hedge of protection around them. Please bring peace to those who have lost a loved one or who are still waiting for word on someone MIA. We are often selfish beyond belief, yet You are always so giving. You bless us with freedoms only dreamed about by others. Let us never, ever forget that. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen
Copyright © 2012, Michelle Welch, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™