“Remembering Our Veterans With a Thankful Heart”

veterans day

by Dona Hake

In preparing for this I was able to touch base with a hand full of veterans to help me out with a few questions that were on my heart.  All quotes I share today will be kept anonymous as I promised. I had asked them as veterans if they could share with me what is on their heart most when this day is observed and what do they  wish the most that people would understand.  Space will only allow me to share a few and I thank those of you that contributed to this.   Today what I am sharing is a bit longer than usual but I feel you will be blessed as you take the time to read it.

We all hear it…”freedom is not free.”   This is such a powerful truth but sometimes powerful truths become mere cliches and they lose their meaning.  We need to keep before us thankful hearts towards those that took up courage and set themselves apart to serve our country.  Within the one correspondence I received the individual said this…

” I am aware that there are very few veterans from WWII still alive. Shortly the last will pass? Then who will speak for them? Who will be able to tell of the sacrifices they made? The atrocities they saw? Reading in a history book does not compare to listening to a person tell of first hand knowledge. I am saddened that this will come to pass. “

What a precious opportunity it would be to sit and hear a WWII Vet share his heart.  I recently had that experience and it was priceless looking into his eyes that seemed so deep with passion and love for his country.   A younger gentlemen shared with me…

“So many citizens really have no idea the sacrifices required for a person to serve. The hard training. The risk of being placed in harms way. the time away from your family. The sacrifices the family makes. Children missing their parent and not having them around for so many of there special childhood events.”

This thought causes me to be reminded to pray for families and those presently serving especially during the holidays because they are separated.    I remember being in the shoes of having the chair at the table during a holiday meal not occupied by my son because he was serving his country.   Let me tell you, it is not easy.  Thank you son the time in which you served our country.  We are so proud of you!

A couple of the correspondences with me from veterans expressed deep concern over the well being of our veterans, their mental and physical health.  There was grave concern over them being able to secure jobs to provide for their families.  Let us pray for them that they will not be forgotten. This simply is wrong.

In closing the one correspondence there was a remark that  was simple yet profound…”So many people can’t understand we were serving our country (includes them). ”     I started to think about how this individual served me by serving my country before I ever met him.  Then I started to think about all the young men and women that have served to keep our country free that I will never be able to say thank you to.

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  If you have the opportunity today to say “thank you!”  please do so.  We salute you veterans for the time you paused your life, and committed to a cause as you served our country.  God bless you!