I awoke this morning thinking about how different this Memorial Day is from 2011’s. I recall—all too well—the dread that plagued me this holiday weekend last year as my son was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in early June. Those last couple weeks prior to his departures are always difficult with the constant anticipation of having to say good-bye looming.
This year I am so thankful to have him home on American soil and relieved that my daily battle with the worry and fear that accompany his deployments has ended too.
Many of our nation’s sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers have come home from war over the past year. Sadly, some will forever be remembered as fallen heroes; others are now wounded warriors fighting to recover from severe injuries or missing limbs; many are struggling silently to reintegrate into non-war life and regain some sense of normalcy—if there is such a thing.
Thousands of service members are currently deployed in war zones; others have just begun their tours of duty; some are now preparing for an upcoming deployment.
I doubt we will we ever know the full impact of war on our military families.
One thing is certain:every service member who has committed their life to ensuring this nation’s freedom has suffered and sacrificed so much more than we can ever fathom.
Even the families who love them, who have served and sacrificed with them, cannot fully comprehend the depth of the battle scars our heroes will carry for life.
As you enjoy your family gatherings and picnics today, please take a moment and say a prayer for our nation’s military families; some are clinging to flags they were handed; others are in hospitals hoping and praying for miracles; many wait—with phones in hand—to hear the voice of a loved one.
I think many of our military families must feel as I do today: grateful to have my son home safe, sad for the ones waiting for the call, unable to imagine the grief of clinging to the flag, or the pain of sitting by the hospital bed praying.
I thank God for all of our men and women in uniform and for the families who love them and serve with them.