Thank a Veteran

November 11, 2011

Today across America there will be ceremonies in schools, community centers, and churches to celebrate the lives of those who have served in our armed forces. There will be music, and food, speeches given and maybe even some tears shed.

There is a man from the church I serve who was in the Army. He served our country over seas but is now living here. Last night he posted this on his Facebook:

“Something that caught my thoughts today was I was in Gamestop and it was packed and I noticed that people where buying a game called call of duty modern war fair. This game is rated M for mature because of blood and gore, bad words, use of tobacco and alcohol. Now elderly people and young people where buying this game. The elderly where buying it for their grandchildren who when asked they where under the age of 18. So I watched a demo off this game. I found it to not be “realistic” like they said it was. Ok this kind of rough what I am about to say. In real life a body doesn’t disappear after they have been shoot, in fact they lay there and bleed out and jerk, you don’t find ammo just laying around, if you get shoot which it only takes one bullet to kill you there is no reset button to push if you die, there is no music playing while you are fighting, hand grenades don’t just take a little power off your life meter they take off limbs, I could go on and on but my point is that young children are playing these games. That your goal is to kill human beings. So I got a few weird looks when I bought a Spongebob game for my kids.”

That may be a different perspective than a lot of people have about this game. As it should be! This man has really been there. He has felt the reality of war. By going overseas he offered his life for our country. He went and fought this war so that we can keep buying video games that are nothing like the real deal. It’s not cool when explosions happen or when blood flings into the air. Real people fight and real people have died, for you.

When you think about it like that, that someone actually died for you, it is a sobering thought. When we think about it as a country it makes it less personal, but when we think, “that person died for me,” then it becomes more real.

How are we supposed to respond to that? People are serving our country in the armed forces, some living and some dying; what do we do about that?

Pray. Prayer works. Both sides are made up of human lives, so I am not saying to pray that our side kills more so that we can win and everyone will be happy. Pray that their lives are kept safe. Pray that the war is able to come to an end and they can come home. Pray for their families, that they are comforted and they stay strong.

Serve. It is the least we can do. Find some way to serve a veteran or their family. You can get involved in organizations that do it, or you can discover certain needs that different families have. These men and women have offered their lives, it is not much to ask for us to serve them in some way.

Thank them. One of the most emotional armed forces commercials I have ever seen was one from Budweiser. They star walking through an airport and all the people in the airport stand up and start clapping for them. The screen goes black and left are the words “thank you.” (you can see it on Youtube by clicking here.) Those two words go a long way. Thank them. Thank them for their service and for what they have done so we can keep doing what we do. Many have seen or done things the rest of us do not even want to imagine. Thank them for their sacrifice.

What they do is selfless. It is not too much to ask that we show some appreciation. So thank you Dad and Mom. Thank you Uncle Tony, Uncle Gerald, and Aunt Jenn. Thank you to my brother Zach for signing on and heading out in a month. Thank you to my brother-in-law Dan Fields. Thank you Jimmy Winn. Thank you Jim Dain and Randy Krape. Thank you to all who serve, I am deeply grateful.


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