Recently, I sat down with several current and former members of our armed forces. Some were members of our special forces, but all had seen significant combat situations. Some of the things I learned from them were inspiring and hopeful, but what really stuck with me the longest, were the comments that were less inspiring and less hopeful. The comments about loneliness, depression, PTSD, and divorce. The comments about how many of our nation’s patriots need a bigger support system, both while deployed and after they return home.
I asked each of these service members to describe the one main thing that they felt they would have appreciated more of from their fellow Americans. The common theme was this: “We wish that we felt more appreciated, valued, and remembered.”
Keep in mind, those sentiments were not offered to me out of thin air. These sentiments are not to be confused with complaints, grievances, and whining. None of the gentlemen I spoke with ever complained to me about any of the losses or hardship they had endured. But they did answer my questions as honestly as they could, once I had asked.
There is not a soul on earth who does not want to be loved, appreciated, and valued. Every soul also desires to be remembered after they are gone, whether “gone” means another military deployment or “gone” means one’s death. These are universal God-given emotions. These emotions should demand a response.
The Christmas season is upon us, and many thousands of our nation’s patriots will not be sitting around a safe, warm fireplace, opening presents with their families. They will be half a world away, in deserts, in danger, in combat, in defense of our great nation’s national security. They risk limb and literal life every day so that you and I can sit safely around our fireplace. We owe them. We owe them our reassurance. The simple reassurance that their sacrifices are indeed highly loved, valued, and remembered. More importantly…
We owe them our reassurance that THEY are highly loved, valued, and remembered.
To the men and women of America’s armed forces, you have not been forgotten this Christmas. You have been remembered, your service has been remembered, and you are our Patriots! The whole team at Prayers for Patriots and beyond keeps you in our hearts and in our prayers.
To my fellow civilians, take the time this Christmas season to reach out to a current or former service member. Tell them that you appreciate them and their work, that you value them, and that you will remember what they gave to and gave up for our freedoms.
Merry Christmas to our service member patriots, far and near – and also to our civilian patriots who remember those serving freedom.
(If you do not know any current or former military members, but wish to send an encouraging note during the holidays, click here to contact us and we will forward your kind message.)