I have always very much appreciated our troops and our veterans. I believe this is mainly due to the fact that my Grandpa Juni served in the Korean War. He would rarely talk about the war, but when he did he had all of my attention. When hearing him speak of the war, it was easy to tell he carried the things he had experienced in the war for the rest of his life. Some good, some bad, and some really bad.
War can be hell. Our troops carry the things they witness and experience for the rest of their lives. That is a lifelong sacrifice for their country... And that's the sacrifice of those that were lucky enough to make it out alive. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." All of our servicemen and women have known death was a possibility, and they served anyway.
That is amazing. That is service. That is love.
This is no little thing. It is a huge sacrifice. Thank you! And thank you to your families as well. The person going to war or training for war is not the only one sacrificing, their families are as well. Don't forget that!
Because of my upbringing and my beliefs I try to be aware of our serving military, as well as our veterans. I always thank them for their service. I try to strike up conversation with them. I let them know I never served in the military, but my Grandpa was in the Korean War and one of my best friends, Jake, just finished a tour in Afghanistan.
|Photo by Bethany Terry|
|Photo by Jennifer Christi Photography|
I have never had one troop or veteran not smile or show thanks for my recognition of their service. Many of them will say, "It was my honor." Or, "It was no big deal." Or, "I'm glad I was able to." They show great humility.
I'm sure being recognized and thanked for their service is a breath of fresh air for some of them. There are some people who bash and hate our troops. I can understand opposing and hating war, but try to do it in a way in which the people who were willing to give up their lives are not hurt any more than they already have been. That's messed up.
Go talk to a Vietnam War veteran and you will understand the hurt and pain caused by such words and actions. When these troops, many of them still boys, came home from Vietnam they weren't welcomed home and greeted with thanks or parades. They were greeted with ignored indifference or hateful protests. Many of them were cursed, threatened and sometimes even assaulted.
I can't begin to imagine what they must have been going through. Happy and thankful to be home from war, only to be told or shown by many American citizens that they were unwelcome or hated. Many soldiers tossed their uniforms in the garbage or in the ocean before they came back home in order to avoid being treated in such ways.
I recently spoke to a Vietnam War veteran who experienced some awful receptions when he got back home from the war.