In Honor

Give honor to whom honor is due.

Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States, where we honor those who have served in the military in defense of freedom and against those who would do great harm in the world. I want to pause today on this blog to do exactly that. Though our military has not always been used by our political leaders for the purest of purposes, I’m grateful that is the narrow exception not the rule. My own father took up arms as an 18 year-old fresh out of high school to help defeat Nazism’s spread over Europe in World War II. He grew up on a vineyard in central California, and was wounded by a mortar shell fragment in a vineyard in northeast France, just miles from the German border.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be exchange gunfire with another terrified 18 year-old on the other side of the battle. I can’t imagine what these young men and women face in the brutality of war, the death of comrades, and being separated from loved ones in far-off countries for extended periods of time. But I am grateful for those who have taken up the call and served this country in the defense of freedom in the world.

His war experiences shaped my dad in ways that have borne fruit through the whole of his life. He has not been afraid to stand up in the face of injustice or to confront those who do harm to others. He has lived with a heart to serve others in any way he could help them and with an integrity of word and honesty that I’ve seen in far too few.

For him and all others who have served (or are serving today) our country with distinction and honor, I am deeply grateful for your sacrifice, your courage and your conviction. May God bless you today and pour out his grace upon you.

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4 Comments
  1. Jo November 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    “His war experiences shaped my dad in ways that have borne fruit through the whole of his life. He has not been afraid to stand up in the face of injustice or to confront those who do harm to others. He has lived with a heart to serve others in any way he could help them and with an integrity of word and honesty that I’ve seen in far too few.”

    How fine an observation. I think, as a society, it is easier and more popular to point out the shortcomings of homecoming veterans, not matter what war, than to see how that service, peace or war, affected the generation positively. I have a son-in-law that I am very proud of. He served in Iraq and then volunteered for a second tour in Afghanistan. He is a fine young man, devoted father, loving husband. I did not know him prior to his service, but I can attest to what he received from the experience. I am glad I did not know him then, because I care for him and I cannot imagine the heartache his absence and potential danger would have created in me. But I am proud to say he is part of our family and part of the safety and freedom I cherish.

  2. Jo November 11, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    “His war experiences shaped my dad in ways that have borne fruit through the whole of his life. He has not been afraid to stand up in the face of injustice or to confront those who do harm to others. He has lived with a heart to serve others in any way he could help them and with an integrity of word and honesty that I’ve seen in far too few.”

    How fine an observation. I think, as a society, it is easier and more popular to point out the shortcomings of homecoming veterans, not matter what war, than to see how that service, peace or war, affected the generation positively. I have a son-in-law that I am very proud of. He served in Iraq and then volunteered for a second tour in Afghanistan. He is a fine young man, devoted father, loving husband. I did not know him prior to his service, but I can attest to what he received from the experience. I am glad I did not know him then, because I care for him and I cannot imagine the heartache his absence and potential danger would have created in me. But I am proud to say he is part of our family and part of the safety and freedom I cherish.

  3. Mike November 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for writing this. It was good for my heart.

  4. Mike November 15, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks for writing this. It was good for my heart.

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