In Others’ Words: Everyday Heroes

Clancy quote US Military 2014

 

I didn’t think much about our country’s military until I fell in love with and married a man who was serving in the U.S. Air Force. Marry someone in the armed forces and suddenly the military is up-close and personal.

Funny Story: I was so naive that I resisted carrying my brand new military I.D. card because it had the word “dependent” on it. I was quite independent, thank you very much. My husband smiled his sweet smile and said, “Fine. You don’t have to carry your I.D. card. You also won’t be able to get on base. Or buy gas. Or groceries.”

Reality: this civilian along for the ride had a lot to learn — and military rules were, well, rules. I would be wise to learn them and play by them.

My military friends wear all the uniforms of our country’s armed forces. Yes, I was an air force wife for more than 20 years, but friendships know no boundaries. Miitary men and women became my heroes — and so did their spouses and children. While we were stationed in Florida, a precious friend’s husbamd was killed overseas … and the word “widow” was seared into my heart as I embraced her and then watched her trust God with her greatest loss. Several years later, another friend’s husband was killed in Afghanistan … and then just two years ago, a friend’s son, an Army Ranger, was killed.

I believe, as Tom Clancy said,  “The U.S. Military is us.” And I believe that our soldiers — men and women — need to be supported both on days like The Armed Forces Day, which is tomorrow, May 17, and every day of the year — because their protection of us never wavers.

In Your Words: If you or anyone in your family — anyone — is serving or has served in the U.S. military, please take the time to let me — and the readers of this blog — know to today. I’d like to pray for them and for you. And say thank you. 

 

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20 Comments

  1. May 16, 2014, 7:29 am   /  Reply

    Great post, Beth!

    And let’s also remember and support the paramilitary contractors who protect our interests and citizens in some really nasty parts of the world. They serve with dedication and purpose, and have very few of the long-term benefits that members of the uniformed services do.

    And if they’re captured – they don’t come home.

    • May 16, 2014, 8:20 am   /  Reply

      Thank you for reminding us to pray for and support them and their families, Andrew.

  2. May 16, 2014, 7:39 am   /  Reply

    And speaking of cliches…an early-morning fly followed me inside this morning, and as he lit in a patch of sunlight I moved to swat him.

    And I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. So I opened the door and herded him outside. Ten minutes well spent, for I…

    …wouldn’t hurt a fly.

    Amazing what God and life can make you, over time.

  3. Laura Cushman
    May 16, 2014, 7:44 am   /  Reply

    Thanks Beth – I too have military in my family. My son Nino serves aboard a fast attack submarine and is stationed in San Diego. He signed up right after 9-11 and has decided to make it his career. We are proud beyond words. However, his service has taken him all over the world and I worry about him – a lot. Any and all prayers are always appreciated.

    And my BIL Perry was 30 years army and is now in military contract status. He travels to hot spots throughout the world but the only difference now is that he cannot carry a weapon due to that status. We pray nightly for his safety too.

    • May 16, 2014, 8:23 am   /  Reply

      Laura, You are a Blue Star Mom. My friend, Edie Melson, writes a military blog for Guideposts and wrote about Blue Star Moms this past Tuesday. (http://www.guideposts.org/blogs/while-they-serve/are-you-a-blue-star-mother) God bless you and your son.
      And my friend, Andrew, was right to point out the service of those on military contract service, suche as your brother-in-law.

    • May 16, 2014, 8:25 am   /  Reply

      I cannot imagine what Perry must go through, being unarmed by decree. I was always armed, and even that sometimes seemed woefully inadequate.

      My heart goes out, and my prayers.

  4. May 16, 2014, 8:18 am   /  Reply

    As the wife of a medically retired Airman, thank you. And as an American, thank your husband for his service and thank you for standing beside him as he served.

    • May 16, 2014, 8:24 am   /  Reply

      Carrie:
      Thank you — and your husband.

  5. May 16, 2014, 8:44 am   /  Reply

    Thanks, Beth, for remembering our military and the contractors. I don’t have anyone serving right now, but have friends with sons and daughters that do.

    • May 16, 2014, 11:05 am   /  Reply

      I think all of us know someone who is serving in the military: family member or friend.

  6. May 16, 2014, 9:13 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful, Beth. You made me laugh and cry within a matter of words. What a gift.

    It’s moving to see tributes for our military personnel, paramilitary and all their families.They sooooo deserve it. They are the true heroes

    Military in my family runs deep. My grandfather was a POW in WW1. My father served in the Navy. One of my cousins served in Viet Nam. My husband is retired Air Force. His father served in Viet Nam and was active duty Army for almost 30 years. Both of my BIL’s served active duty for 20+ years as well. My hubby and his brothers currently work as contractors with the military.

    I have numerous friends who are/were active duty.

    • May 16, 2014, 11:06 am   /  Reply

      Jeanne, I did not know your grandfather was a POW. What an amazing piece of your family history.
      And yes, military does run deepin your family. You have much to be proud of … and thankful for.

  7. May 16, 2014, 2:22 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, my husband was active duty Air Force for over 13 years, until a disability forced him out. He loved it, as did I. I remember being in a college class full of airmen. The teacher had us go around the room to say what jobs we performed … my turn came, and I said, “I’m just a dependent!” They gave me such a hard time about that … just …

    My grandfather was shot in the shoulder in WWII. He was peeking up out of a foxhole in the Philippines. All he had to eat for day was a pudding cup an officer gave him. He had a purple heart to prove it. He loved to share his stories. My favorite was he found a monkey … when it was time for them to board the ship, they were instructed to leave all monkeys behind. He said goodbye to his, got on board, and all the other guys still had their monkeys. He was so mad about that! 🙂 So funny the way he’d tell it.

    The Air Force was great to us. Going through old papers the other day, we found certificates they had given me for being a supportive wife. Broke out hearts to be separated from it. But life went on.

    • May 16, 2014, 4:15 pm   /  Reply

      Shelli:
      I love each and every one of the stories you shared today … although I just might like the monkey one best.
      🙂

  8. May 16, 2014, 3:22 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, I was born and raised in an Air Force family. We lived in several foreign countries. It was the height of the cold war and Dad was in the war plans and programs division. I remember, when the Cuban crisis occurred, an military policeman came and got him in the middle of the night and we didn’t see him for several days. Now, as I watch the news, I can see the beginnings of a second, frightening cold war.

    I pray for our troops and their families almost every day.

    • May 16, 2014, 4:16 pm   /  Reply

      Praying for our troops and their families: such an important way to support them.

  9. May 16, 2014, 6:49 pm   /  Reply

    Hi Beth,
    I just blogged about flying our flags to show how much we love the USA. I’m so glad I stopped by today.

    Thank you for being a military wife, and please thank your husband for serving our country!

    • May 17, 2014, 12:50 pm   /  Reply

      Looking forward to reading your blogpost!

  10. May 17, 2014, 4:28 am   /  Reply

    The sacrifices and service from our armed forces members is unending and unequaled by anything else in our world. Without them, our world would be unthinkably different. I am so very grateful for them all.

    • May 17, 2014, 12:49 pm   /  Reply

      Virginia: I absolutely agree!

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