Veteran’s Day has just passed by and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is a great day to just sit back and reflect on the current year and sometimes the years gone by. Reflect on the blessings we have been given, the adversities averted, and focus on the reasons to be thankful. Your service for this country should always be at the top of our list each year, for without it we would not have this privilege to celebrate and be thankful. We owe you a huge debt of gratitude for your service and more than just one day out of the year.
I find it not only appropriate to take this time to express our thanks, but also, I want all of you to know just how vital you have been to our country. It all began with a call to serve – a tugging at your heart to enlist and serve your country. You put your life on hold to answer this call. You risked your life to fight and protect our country’s rights. And you faithfully answered that call.
In Isaiah 6:8 we learn about the call to serve.
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
It wasn’t an easy decision, but once you made the choice to serve and protect, you enlisted and went about that mission. It was risky and no doubt terrifying, but nonetheless you went ahead with your choice and were faithful to that decision.
In 2 Timothy 2:4 you enlisted for the right reason and again, we are thankful for that choice.
“No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”
Preparing for battle is hard and strenuous. In training, one needs to be broken down and then rebuilt and refined for the challenges that lie ahead. It taught you a new skillset combined with endurance and strength which are requirements for the success of this calling. You bravely endured this for our country’s sake and were prepared to fight for us. You were being fully equipped for battle.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 we see how God has provided all that you need to endure this challenge.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
You kept your calm, faced adversity head on; thus, achieving your goal to divide and conquer. God’s hand was on you throughout your tour(s) of duty. And you called out to Him for that strength to continue.
In Psalm 18:37-43 you could see that He was for you and not against you during this time. This peace of mind began to create a calm over you.
“I pursued my enemies and overtook them and did not turn back till they were consumed. I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet. For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed. They cried for help, but there was none to save; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.”
The moment you walked into that recruiting office is when the fight for this cause began. You enlisted and have been fighting for our country non-stop ever since. God remained with you and He brought many of you back to us. He was faithful to His promise to watch over you.
In 2 Samuel 22:2-4 God responded to your cries for help and heard your thanks and acknowledgement of His intervention.
“He said: The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior – from violent people you save me. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.”
Sadly, not all came back. And we, your country, mourned for those lost along with you. Today, we gladly honor them, respectfully remember them, and are grateful for their dedication to such a worthy cause. You gave your time, your heart, and your life, so we could enjoy the fruits of freedom and live our lives in peace. We are humbled by that sacrifice.
John 15:13 states what we, ourselves, can’t fully express.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
You have stayed faithful to your calling despite the sacrifice you made, as well as, those your family, and friends also had to make. It may have been a spouse who sometimes took on the role of both parents to benefit the upbringing of the children, or children who missed out on bonding moments between you and them. Missed out on precious time during those pivotal periods of their formative years. It was a hard decision for all of you to uphold, but your loved ones did it out of their love for you and their desire to honor your wish to serve our country. Your faithfulness to your calling is commendable and your sacrifices are, and will always be, appreciated.
It is only fitting that you should be honored. Not just for a day or two out of the year, but every day. We mentioned the debt of gratitude we owe you and these should not just be an utterance of empty words, but a vow from our heart to honor, take care of, meet your needs, give you full benefits, and do whatever we can to say thank you. Thank you for being our Heroes every day! We proudly salute you.
Finally, in Numbers 6:24-26 we offer up this prayer for you.
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show his favor and give you his peace.”
Happy Veteran’s Day! Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and dedication!
Your Fellow Countrymen