No picture…there are too many I see on facebook and on the news and I couldn’t pick just one.  Each of them gave more of themselves, literally, than I’m sure any one of them expected.  I don’t think anyone goes into military service saying, “Oh, yeah, I’m gonna lose an arm and two legs next year.”

I subscribe to military feeds because I love the military, because I’m a military brat, because I’m a military mom, and because no matter what mess we may be in right now I’d still rather be in the USA than anywhere else because at this time we still enjoy and take for granted more freedoms than most have ever dreamed of having.  Because I subscribe to the feeds about our wounded warriors and severely wounded vets I see their photos every day and with the photos comes the story and with the story comes tears and awe.  

Awe that these oh-way-too-young-to-be-injured-like-this men and women are still giving.  They have lost arms or legs and sometimes all of them yet they are still giving with their time, talents, experiences, knowledge, compassion, encouragement, money, and everything they are and have to help and inspire others!  I’m wowed…bowled over.  What awesome people these military veterans are!  

And when I read what they have gone through, my own struggles seem smaller.  What they are accomplishing after their injuries is more than I think anyone ever thought possible.  

They are our heroes.

We may not all agree on politics and policies, we may not all agree on the where and whens and whys of this war, but we should all agree that those who are serving are worthy of our honor and esteem.  And when they come home visibly wounded, how can we not look upon them and see the best in who we are as a nation?  See that these are the men and women of courage who say, “I’ll go” and then give more to us, strangers, than many would even consider giving someone they do know.  

A few weeks ago we had lunch at a little diner and in walked an older man with Vietnam Veteran cap and another man probably in his fifties who appeared to be his son wearing a Navy shirt.  As we ate I watched the men talking and though I have no idea what they talked of, I noticed the crinkling of the older man’s eyes when he smiled.  I remember vividly how Vietnam Veteran’s were treated so badly, shamefully, upon their return.  I recall the name-calling and rudeness and horrible way people would spit on our soldiers.  Yet here was this beautiful man smiling kindly and proudly wearing his Vietnam Veteran cap.  I wanted to go hug him.   I kept thinking about the American attitude projected toward today’s military and hoping that the positive one, the one of thanks and gratitude, was the one that they would remember most.  

As we were leaving I stepped over and thanked him for serving and let him know their meal was covered.  He seemed absolutely stunned and couldn’t thank me enough.  I kept saying, “No, Sir, thank you.”   He was still trying to give more. 

As a nation we need to find and show a grateful heart for our service men and women.  What they do isn’t easy, isn’t fun, isn’t something that makes everyone jump up and down and yell “pick me”, the hours are brutal, the food is often rationed, the living conditions stink, it’s so dangerous that we’ve lost over 2,000 so far, and the pay really sucks; but they do it and for us. 

When I read of the insecurities they feel and the embarrassment they undergo because of the rudeness of those who stare or make ridicule of a prosthetic arm or leg, I want to write scathing, blazing, burning words to those who have caused our heroes to feel that way…but I pray instead.   

Let’s do better this time.  Let’s show them we have more to give, too, and let’s give it.    

In prayer for my son…

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