Hope, glory and pride

Today is just another Monday in the minds of most of us that have to get up and punch a time clock every day. I know by myself that Monday’s are interesting because it’s the one day of the week that I don’t have to get up early. I can sleep in just a little bit and still have time to do what needs to be done before I have to be at work at 12 noon. I will admit that it’s nice on the one hand but when you know your work day won’t end until 9 p.m. then it’s a little less thrilling. I have no right to complain really as I know there are plenty of other people out there that have much more intense shifts to work. I applaud those around me that put in the longer, harder hours of work than I do.

There are so many difficult positions out in the world that require a stamina that I just don’t possess. The policemen, firemen, doctors, lawyers, construction workers, missionaries to foreign lands, soldiers, and many, many others have my utmost respect for what they encounter every single day.

I know particularly that the soldiers from our great country put in many long, arduous hours to train and become equipped to do battle all around the world. They leave their jobs, families, and their country behind to go into countries where Americans are not necessarily always welcome. They put on heavy armored vests, weaponry, and other tactical gear that they must haul wherever they are called to go. I have always admired and appreciated the sacrifices of those that go into the military. However, I don’t think I have comprehended it quite as much in the past as I have now.

Somehow with age and maturity I am beginning to see more vividly the ramifications for those that go off to war and then what happens when they come back home. I will admit to being a real news junkie and I have seen countless reports on 60 Minutes and other news broadcasts where our soldiers leave home with high hopes of what they can achieve and accomplish in a faraway land. The only problem with this is when they return home. In many cases, they return a mere shell of the person that they were when they left.

Why did this happen? It’s called the horrors of war. Yes, we have continuous news coverage it seems of what goes on in other countries all the time but we still can’t truly know what these men and women have experienced unless we’ve been in their shoes. I know that I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your best buddy lying next to you dead after you’ve been hit by a roadside bomb. I don’t know what it’s like to lose a limb, or feel the pain of shrapnel tearing into your body. I don’t know what it’s like to come home and constantly relive the same horrific experiences over and over and over each and every day. I will admit that I can’t comprehend any of it.

What I do know is this. As an American, I do know that I can proudly honor and salute those that have served in the military over the years. The Greatest Generation just recently had the 70th anniversary of D-Day and I watched intently the NBC special with Brian Williams of the soldiers and what they endured. I shed quite a few tears that evening and it struck me like never before just what sort of impact their sacrifices have had on my life and so many others. Obviously, there are many other wars and conflicts that this great nation has been through in the last hundred or more years that should be honored as well.

So, with hope, glory and pride, I salute all the armed forces in this great land of ours for everything they have done for us. This 4th of July I would ask everyone to please remember what true independence and freedom means.

Stay safe and have a very Happy 4th!!



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