Bella’s Thoughts on Service Men and Women 

Written November 11, 2016(Veterans Day)

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends”(layman’s terms “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend”) ~John 15:13

I write this in honor of the brave men and women who leave their family and loved ones behind, lay down their lives, and go to some foreign land to fight for freedom – our freedom.

Growing up I didn’t know anyone except my grandfather and a couple of uncles who’d gone off to war before I was born or when I was a toddler. I only remember my grandfather telling me stories about his experiences and sadly, because I was a teenager, I don’t remember them. I never really understood the importance of it and the heartache involved until many years later.

I’d become friends with, fell in love with and married a soldier. When we were friends he’d gone to the Middle East to fight terrorists who were threatening our way of life. I wasn’t as affected as his family was but I was concerned with his safety. When he’d gone for a second tour we were married.

The day he told me he and his troop were being deployed my heart sank lower than it ever had in my life. My thoughts instantly went to fear, fear that I’d be a widow before our first wedding anniversary. I needed to occupy myself while he was gone so I volunteered to be a part of this group that supports the families while their soldier is away. There I met some amazing people. I could talk to them about what was going on in my head and heart and they knew exactly what I was talking about because they felt the same way.

In the early years of warfare there was a good chance your soldier wouldn’t come home alive. Today, with all of the new fancy fandangled gear along with all the  protective and offensive stuff, the chances are much better that your loved one will come home. For the unfortunate few they either die in battle and, if their bodies are not recovered by their fellow soldiers, one of 2 things happen. That soldier either lies in the blazing hot sun to rot, or if he does get buried, he gets buried in a mass grave with who knows how many people.

Then there are the POWs and MIAs – Prisoner of War or Missing In Action. These soldiers are captured and tortured by the enemy. I won’t go into details out of respect for those soldiers and their families. And just because our brave women physically come home, many of them have post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)

So why do these brave men and women do this? Why do they choose to sign up for military service if they know what could happen? They do it to protect you and me. To protect OUR way of life, our Freedoms. It would be so easy for these folks to say to heck with it when they enlist or are faced with going to some strange land. The way protesters have burned, stomped on or disrespected the flag in other ways I wouldn’t blame them – but they do it anyway.

Imagine if we would’ve lost any one of the wars that we’ve fought. What would our lives be like if Britain, Japan, or Germany, to name a couple, would’ve won? I’ll tell you this much, you wouldn’t have probably any of the Freedoms you enjoy and take for granted now. Our military men and women , past, present and future, are the reason you and I can sleep safely at night.

Thought for the day: The next time you feel the need to burn the flag or put it on the ground and stomp on it, think about all of the blood, sweat and tears that were put into your ability to do that.

“Gun Shy”

10,000 Maniacs

I always knew that you would, take yourself far from home
As soon as, as far as you could go
By the quarter inch cut of your hair, and the army issue green
For the past eight weeks I can tell where you’ve been

Chorus
For I knew, I could see, it was all cut and dried to me
There was soldier’s blue blood streamin’ inside your veins
There is a world outside of this room, and when you meet it promise me
You won’t meet it with your gun

So now you are one, of the brave few
It’s awful sad we need boys like you
I hope the day never comes for
Here’s your live round son
Stock and barrel, safety, trigger, here’s your gun

Chorus

For I don’t mean to argue, they’ve made a decent boy of you
And I don’t mean to spoil your home comin’
But baby brother you should expect me to
Stock and barrel, safety, trigger, here’s your gun

So now does your heart, pitter pat with a patriotic song
When you see the stripes of old glory waving?

Chorus

I don’t mean to argue, they’ve made a decent boy of you
And I don’t mean to spoil your homecomin’ my baby brother Jude
And I don’t mean to hurt you by saying this again
They’re so good at making soldiers
But they’re not as good at making men

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