If It Weren’t for Them

Today is Veteran’s Day, and if it weren’t for them (Veterans of The American Revolution), we would be speaking a very different English dialect.  If it weren’t for them (Veterans of World War II), we would be a Germanic or Oriental culture.   To think, if it weren’t for them (Veterans of the Cold War), we may have the Russians for neighbors or even for rulers.  If not for the veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we may be dealing with an emboldened and strengthened terrorist enemy willing and able to strike us over and over with 9-11 type attacks.  

Men and women in uniform put boots on our ideals.  They preserve and protect our freedoms.  Without them, we wouldn’t be the people we are. 

For the believer in Jesus Christ, Veteran’s Day is not just an opportunity to be thankful for our servicemembers and our nation’s veterans.  It is also an opportunity to pray.  Ask God to be with those on the front lines of battle in Iraq and, most especially, Afghanistan, where the war is heating up again.  

The sacrifices being experienced are not just on the front line.  Back home, children are without a parent for a long time, spouses are without their mates, special occasions lack an important person to share in the celebration, and emergencies don’t wait for mom or dad to come home.   People marry, graduate, die, go to the emergency room, and experience firsts like walking and dating and driving.  All of these sacrifices are for us and we should and need to be grateful. 

On the field, our military members run the gamut of emotions.  Holidays can intensify a longing for home.  Letters that come add joy and those that don’t bring pain.  There are “Dear John” letters and packages from elementary school kids.   Marriages and relationships endure the separation or break under the strain. 

Pray for our men and women in uniform and for their families.  Ask God to bring them safely home.  For purity, both back home and on the field; for endurance, mentally, spiritually and physically; for the success of the mission – all of these are essential prayer items and there are so many more. 

Next time you see a camouflaged uniform or a veteran you know, who served our country, remember, if it weren’t for them . . .

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