Giving honor to those who have served

November 15, 2013 chris
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I was waiting with my friends to tee off on the first hole at Will’s Creek golf course. There was a twosome ahead of us.

When one of the men turned to face me, I noticed his cap. It had symbols and markings on it that indicated that he was a veteran. I stopped him and shook his hand and thanked him for his service to our country.

As I shook his hand, I quickly realized that there are at least five veterans who play in our group on a regular basis. Jessie Rawls, Charles Jones, Ellis Parker, Todd Douthard, and Rick. What is that scripture? “A prophet is without honor in his own house?”

I quickly thanked the veterans within my group as well. I play golf with them so often I forget their sacrifice. Although I know that each man to this day continues to deal with issues related to their time served for the most part we just talk and play golf.

While playing I toss words like battle and war around. Following an impressive shot or putt I will quote Bug’s Bunny, “Of course you know this means war.” 

I have never seen a front line nor smelled air filled napalm. I wonder why they never call me on that. I play sports and although I endured some tough games in the end they were just games. I digress.  

I try to be conscious of the moment and time that I am living in. I do so that I may never forget, or fail to acknowledge anyone who has played a role in what I considered to be a blessing in my life. I must confess to maintain such a mindset is a daily battle, because the pressures of daily grind can and will attack such focus. But I know that without God and the various people he has placed and used in my life I would not be here. Nor would I be enjoying the privileges that I enjoy on a daily basis. Today I would like to thank every person and their loved ones who is currently serving or has ever served in any branch of the armed forces.

I realized that freedom isn’t free. I don’t know what it is like to leave your family and go to distance lands. I don’t know what it is like to place your dreams on hold. I have never had to go without food, comfort, or personal hygiene for prolong periods or time. And although I know that I could die at any moment I have never awaken each day knowing that my death was part of the enemies objective.

Thank you for all that you do and have done! Thank you for pipe through which freedom flowed. The conduit used by God to protect and maintain our freedom. It is because of your sacrifice that I may pursue life liberty and happiness. It is a result of your efforts that we have the right to vote and that justice is the American way.

Each morning as I leave my house and each evening as I return home, my thoughts are on that appreciation. As my feet crunch and part leaves while walking from or to my door I am mindful and thankful for all who made this possible.

When I look up toward the star filled sky at night I know from whence my blessings flow and in some cases I know the tools, individuals, and veterans He has used to bless this nation.

I love driving toward Glencoe this time of year. I ride my motorcycle at a slower rate of speed. Taking time to read the names of the fallen heroes anchored to a flag which is anchored to a cross. It is a sobering cruise. As I read each name I try to think of an individual I know who shares that last name and then I wonder whether or not they are related and if so how?

“Greater love have no man then that he would lay down his life for a brother.”

Thank you all for an awesome freedom!