Memorial Day is the time we’ve set aside to honor our fallen heroes who gave their lives for our freedom. No greater gift exists—and no greater sacrifice is possible—than to give your life for something you believe in.
While our military and their families deserve our thanks every day, May has been named National Military Appreciation Month. It’s easy to overlook the daily sacrifices service members and their families make for us, but their sacrifices are real and significant. Check out some ways you can show them your thanks on the Military Appreciation Month facebook page.
Some say that those in the military signed up for their lifestyle. They signed up to serve their country and give their lives if necessary to protect our freedom. But even though they’ve committed to serve, hardships accompany that service. Families are often separated. Children may be born while a father is away. Finances can be challenging when families live in separate locations. Moves can be frequent and unexpected. Communication may be sporadic. Deployments can come up unexpectedly. Pre-deployment training and preparation are stressful. And loneliness is sometimes overwhelming. Add fear to the equation when the service member is deployed to a war-torn area. In addition, a military career includes a certain amount of peril on a daily basis.
I was a military wife for twenty-one years. Those serving in the military are among the most dedicated, patriotic people I’ve ever known.
The special camaraderie among service members and dependents with others in the military community is comparable to a fraternity. Usually military families live far away from their relatives, so military friends are like family wherever they’re stationed. These relationships are crucial in their daily lives. I’m still in touch with some of our military friends from more than thirty-five years ago, and I treasure those ties.
Military families do not lead normal, nine-to-five lives. Days and hours are dictated by the mission. Service members can be called to serve at any time—weekends, holidays, or whenever needed. Their lives are dedicated to service to their country.
Those who have served during times of combat are forgotten heroes. We who have not served have no idea what they have experienced and carry with them for the rest of their lives. Many will not talk about their experiences because the pain is too great. Grief? Yes. Unspeakable grief.
The gifts of service and sacrifice from our troops, their families, war veterans, and fallen heroes are priceless. Our greatest honor and thanks go to them—along with our prayers. God bless you all!
© 2012 Judy Brizendine