It is 11 November 2010. It is Veterans Day. Last year I was excited to get a day off work. This year things are different.
I am in Afghanistan working beside a soldier on crutches who was blown up a week ago, lying flat on the ground when a rocket siren blares, seeing the dust outline of a pair of sunglasses on a weathered face that just came in from battle, watching a Marine grasp his weapon when a balloon pops. This year, I'm not remembering those who served, I'm serving those who serve.
I am incredibly proud to have this opportunity. I am thankful to all of you for taking the time to read about my adventure. I look at this blog as not only a way to keep my family and friends updated of my life, but to inform others of the great sacrifices our troops make every day. They don't ask for glory or admiration, they just simply ask me for 10 minutes to call home, or for more sugar for their coffee.
I believe that if I can have one of my friends let one of their friends know about my blog then maybe they'll let one of their friends know and my one little self can create a ripple affect to remind all of us that the war is still raging and young men and women are still fighting.
I know that before I came here troops were statistics. I didn't know any of them. It didn't affect me, so it didn't bother me, it didn't haunt me. I'm hoping that this blog can offer you a link to meet these troops, get to know them, and remember them. Be affected by them.
I ask each of you to take the time today to pause and think of any soldier, sailor, marine, or airman you know. Ask the Lord to bless them and hold them and keep them safe from harm. Pray for their families who miss them. Thank the Lord for the horrors you will never have to see, because they are experiencing them for you. Pause to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, those who lost their lives. More than that, TAKE ACTION.
All it takes is one person to set an example and others will follow:
- Write on any troop's Facebook wall you know. Fill the whole Facebook news feed with well wishes for troops! Show how much you value what they do for you every day!
- Anytime you see a man or woman in uniform, wherever you are, airport, grocery store or gas station, shake their hand and thank them for their service.
- Donate to the USO, so we can provide a home away from home for the troops.
- Donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, so injured troops can know we have not forgotten their sacrifice. I see Wounded Warriors all the time with only one outfit from the Wounded Warrior Project because their uniform was blown up and they don't have any others yet.
- Adopt a soldier through Soldiers' Angels. They'll help you find a troop to send letters and care packages to.
- Let me know if you would like to find a way to specifically support our troops here at KAF. I'd be more than willing to help you find a troop I know personally to send a care package.
To all the vets I’ve known for years or just a few days, thank you for your service and sacrifice!
and every troop that walks through my center's doors
|Photo by Gretchen Kemp|
And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.