Pastor’s Perspective 11-06-18
I got interrupted as I was putting this article together. Texting my son who is currently deployed to Afghanistan. It’s amazing what modern technology enables us to do nowadays. Using the WhatsApp app, I can text him in real time. It really is a blessing! When I was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq for Operations Desert Shield and Storm, Gaye and I exchanged snail mail throughout my 7-month deployment. We learned to number our letters so the recipient would know if there might be some pertinent information missing in a previous and not yet received letter. That all started when I got a letter from Gaye one day that said “Josh got his stitches out today.” I had no idea he had stitches – or why – and no way to find out until the missing letter arrived! For those who are now curious to know, he had fallen and cut his head open on the fireplace. Jon had already gotten stitches from another fall so Gaye took them to different places to get medical treatment. She didn’t want or need any extra attention regarding her parenting, if you know what I mean.
We can laugh as we talk about all that now. It wasn’t so funny at the time. In fact, it was stressful. For both of us. It points to the unique challenges our soldiers and their families have faced for decades in service to our country. Having grown up in a military family and experienced the frequent moves and multiple separations that come with that life, I gained an early appreciation for our veterans and their families. I put my wife and children through the same thing when I put on the uniform. For 26 years and three combat deployments. With two sons who followed in my footsteps who have five combat deployments between them already, I know how hard it is to see them leave their families behind to head into harm’s way. My wife will tell you she’d rather send me than either one of them. I don’t take it personally. I feel the same way.
This Sunday is Veterans’ Day. A day to remember and honor and express our appreciation to the many veterans who have served or are still serving our country. And their families! I know as a son, a husband, a father and a grandfather the sacrifices they all have made and are making for all of us. I still plan to continue our series on the Apostles’ Creed, but we will take a moment to recognize our veterans on Sunday.
See you then! ~ John