“I joined the military because I’m answering my calling.” – U.S. Army serviceman
There is no less than or better than in God’s eyes- just obedience or disobedience to God and the tasks He has called us to. There are no insignificant tasks when we are doing what God has called us to. What are you called to do? Then do that.
Only 2 of the 50 people I asked, knew that the third Saturday of May is designated as Armed Services Day. I didn’t know either until I read Dr. Nichols’s article. However, someone did inform me that May fourth was Star Wars Day. Can we please fix this?
Link to: Armed Forces Medley: 2017 National Memorial Day Concert
***The quotes in blue dispersed throughout this post are from active duty members of our military who I had the privilege of interviewing this weekend.
“After college I couldn’t find a job. My Father was an Army reservist and encouraged me. My Grandfather was a World War II Navy veteran.” -active duty U.S Air force, 14 years
“I thought why not be the first to serve in my family?”
“It‘s stable. Good pay.” -U.S. Army, Served in Kuwait twice
“I was in a rut and in need of a way out. I felt the military was a good way out- schooling, job. -U.S. Army
”I Joined because I wanted to do something better with myself.” -Retired, U.S. Air Force, 20 yrs. (Still volunteers for events)
President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department — the U. S. Department of Defense.
“They, (American civilians), think Otis Air Force base is closed. They don’t know there is still a war. “ -U.S. Air force
“We do our duty. Be supportive of the military. Some towns locally don’t show support of us. When they see us it’s like, “What are you doing here?” I’d like to see more parades, and events like this, (Troops in the Spotlight), to be more a part of the culture. -U.S. Army
How can we help you?
“Many Americans don’t understand our military. There is a gap between civilians and the military. People ask, most don’t know we are still at war. In World War II there was a shared sacrifice with civilians. They participated in the war effort, to meet the needs. We need civilians to educate themselves and participate.” -U.S. Army
“Remember we are serving. Serving here is just as important as serving overseas.We have jobs, we volunteer in the community- training personnel to deploy, helping with school, with storm support, the Red Cross, the Boston marathon, communications.” -U.S. Air Force
“I never really thought about it. I get treated well. Show support- like at Troops in the Spotlight.” – U.S. Army
“Military discounts, the thumbs up when you drive by makes us want to keep going and do what we do. Send care packages to our troops overseas.” -U.S. Air Force
“Be an American. Show your support, like you’re doing now. Appreciate the benefits of the U.S. being your home. Take care of it. America needs to come first. Just be a civilian and do the best you can.”
“I could say more benefits, or that some things need to be fixed with the VA… but what we really need is unity. Have your differences. You’re an immigrant…Welcome- but you are an American now. Be one nation.”
He was only 19 as he and his fellow soldiers of the 104th Infantry Division “Timberwolves” fought to the north of where the Battle of the Bulge waged. The cold, wet conditions in December 1944 made it all the more miserable and David and many of the men suffered from trench foot as a result.
They pressed toward the Nazi army as shots rang out. Suddenly, in the exchange of fire a bullet found its target and an American soldier fell and lay wounded in the space between them and the enemy.
David ran across the open field, dodging the volley of ammunition raining down on them from the enemy. As he carried his fellow soldier back to their unit a bullet ripped through David’s leg.
David lay recovering from his wound in the hospital in Belgium, grateful to be alive, and that he had managed to save the soldier’s life. But he longed for home. His thoughts drifted to his younger sister, Jean, and the sweet sound of her singing as she played Christmas carols on the family piano in the parlor. David picked up his pen and began to draw.
“The sacrifice of being away from my family is the hardest. The births, funerals, birthdays I miss. When my niece asked why I wasn’t at her birthday…when you come home and kids don’t recognize you, don’t know you. It’s hard not being there for my family, but those people I’m not there for- are the reason why I’m gone. I’m doing this for them, to take care of them. So, by being away, I am there for them.” – U.S. Army
“The hardest thing is being away from my family. I have friends serving overseas.”
The good soldier fights for freedom, righteousness & securing an ordinary peaceful life and opportunity for his people. Those fulfilling wholesome occupations are part of a soldier’s reward which he can look forward to coming home to. Do your secular duty in light of the trust you have received as citizens of our great nation, and if you are a Christian, as ambassadors for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“God, I pray for your grace to enable us to raise our families, appreciate our freedoms, care for our countrymen and nation and live our lives in such a manner that is worthy of the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.”
“Those citizens who are doing their best- We appreciate it.” -U.S. Army
What bothers you?
“Staying up all night.”
“The PC. Why is there any such thing as politically correct?”
“When I ask for the military discount and they ask for my husband’s ID. I’m the service person.”
“Recognize women in the military. People ask about us being harassed in the military. I get harassed by those not in the military.”
“I have lost two friends in combat.”
“Most American citizens aren’t aware servicemen died today in combat. Do they know their names?”
Do you have concerns about our military?
“Not at all, right now.”
“No concerns. Everything is a cycle. What goes up will come down and what is down will come up.”
“Drill instructors aren’t tough enough today on recruits.”
“I’m concerned the military has gotten a little soft.”
“The definition of hazing has gone too far.”
“Now there is more paperwork. The military used to be more physical. You can’t engage the enemy with paper.”
“We need to toughen up the military.”
“We hope they don’t shut down more bases. This is how we support our families. This is our job. This is who we are. This is what we do” -U.S. Air Force
“It is what it is. I don’t get caught up in the possibilities, the threats. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up.”
Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
In 1866, following the Civil War, a women’s memorial association in Columbus, Mississippi, decorated the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers with flowers. This benevolent gesture inspired the poem “The Blue and the Grey,” by Francis Miles Finch.
On May 5th, 1868, Union hero Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, who was also the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a day of memorial, originally known as Decoration Day, “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
With President Ulysses Grant presiding, General James A. Garfield, (who later became 20th president of the united States in 1881), delivered the speech at the first national Memorial Day observance which took place on May 30th 1868, with a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, the ground of which was formerly the estate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his wife.
Memorial Day was later expanded to honor all deceased American military men and women who gave their lives defending our nation in battle. In 1971, federal law moved the observance of Memorial day to the last Monday in May.
Today Memorial Day is observed at Arlington National Cemetery by decorating each grave with an American flag and placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In other military cemeteries, flags are placed on the graves of all veterans and even on their spouse’s graves on Memorial Day.
General James A. Garfield’s Speech, known as “His finest hour,” given at the first national Memorial Day:
I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. With words we make promises, plight faith, praise virtue… Click to continue
LINK: Here, TSgt Mike Brest performs Taps in Arlington National Cemetery.
LINK: The History of Taps, told by John Wayne
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. -Edmund Burke
In issues of morality, there is no neutral ground.
Do you have concerns about our country?
“The way kids are being brought up. They don’t respect authority and only want to play games. I think they should all serve two years in the military after high school.”
“Taking away gun rights doesn’t stop the bad guys. We need rules and regulations. But you need the right to defend yourself.” -U.S. Air Force
“There’s no respect.”
“Children today have no respect for authority.”
“People don’t have respect for authority, for each other, the military, our country.”
“It’s horrible how people treat our police officers.” -U.S. Army
“The situation in the nation between citizens, the youth, and police officers.” -U.S. Air Force
“We need more enlistments.” -U.S. Army
“I’m concerned about the disconnect. Less than 1% of the population carry the burden of serving in our military.” U.S. Army
“Be aware. Isis is everywhere. They are here. Living on your street.” -U.S Air Force
We are either aiding the advancement of evil, or good. Doing nothing to stop evil when you are able, is aiding it.
War is a terrible thing, but sometimes it is necessary to wage war in order to win peace.
But the greatest danger is always present- war or not. The jeopardy of the man precariously perched on the edge of Hell waiting for someone to deliver the life & eternal life saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I would be remiss to not draw attention to the most epic battle ever waged- the one for our souls. Jesus fought to rescue you from the grip of Satan’s tyranny so you don’t have to live captive to your sin, your sorrow, your past, or circumstance.
You wouldn’t step into battle unprepared. You shouldn’t step into eternity unprepared.
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (NASB)
Jesus conquered death and Hell so we can be born again, live free and inherit eternal life. The prison door is open, but it’s up to us to choose to walk out. You can do so by repenting and asking Jesus to forgive your sin, and accepting His gift of salvation and citizenship in Heaven.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (NASB)
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16 (NASB)
I am concerned that we are divided. Realize what we as a nation are about: United- one nation. Represent your flag. We need understanding, to accept and respect each other. Out of many one people.
Have your culture; have your heritage. Be proud of your heritage, but we are all Americans. E Pluribus Unim; out of many, one. We are Americans first. -U.S. Army serviceman (Twice deployed to Afghanistan) -U.S. Army
Link to video of: The Star Spangled Banner (with lyrics) Performed by Sandi Patti with the original lyrics written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and added verse composed by Claire Cloninger for the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in 1986.
In grateful acknowledgement of all American military personnel who have served and are currently serving in our United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Thank you for your service.
“God, may our hearts hold our American military and their families in grateful honor and prayer and let us demonstrate our love and support for them, not just on designated days, but always.”
The connection between poppies and the military:
The poem, In Flander’s Fields, written by Canadian officer and surgeon John McCrae in 1915 during World War I, is responsible for the red poppy’s rise of popularity and subsequent adoption as a symbol of remembrance. By 1917, In Flanders Fields, was shared throughout the English speaking world and used to bring attention to the war effort, recruit American soldiers, and help raise money for the troops. It became one of history’s most famous wartime poems.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Link to The 2017 National Memorial Day Concert
Link to: God Bless America (Patriotic Slideshow)
Official website of the United States Army https://www.army.mil/
Official website of the United States Navy http://www.navy.mil/
Official website of the United States Marines http://www.marines.mil/
Official website of the United States Air Force http://www.af.mil/
Official website of the United States Coast Guard https://www.uscg.mil/
Link to learn about: AMERICA’S WARS- ALL THE MAJOR WARS THAT THAT UNITED STATES HAS FOUGHT
American Involvement in Wars from Colonial Times to the Present
||War in Which American Colonists or
United States Citizens Officially Participated
|July 4, 1675 –
August 12, 1676
|King Philip’s War
||New England Colonies vs. Wampanoag, Narragansett, and Nipmuck Indians
||King William’s War
||The English Colonies vs. France
||Queen Anne’s War (War of Spanish Succession)
||The English Colonies vs. France
||King George’s War (War of Austrian Succession)
||The French Colonies vs. Great Britain
||French and Indian War(Seven Years War)
||The French Colonies vs. Great Britain
||English Colonists vs. Cherokee Indians
||English Colonists vs. Great Britain
||Franco-American Naval War
||United States vs. France
||United States vs. Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli
||War of 1812
||United States vs. Great Britain
||United States vs. Creek Indians
||War of Texas Independence
||Texas vs. Mexico
||United States vs. Mexico
||U.S. Civil War
||Union vs. Confederacy
||United States vs. Spain
||World War I
||Triple Alliance: Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary vs. Triple Entente: Britain, France, and Russia. The United States joined on the side of the Triple Entente in 1917.
||World War II
||Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan vs. Major Allied Powers: United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia
||United States (as part of the United Nations) and South Korea vs. North Korea and Communist China
||United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam
||Bay of Pigs Invasion
||United States vs. Cuba
||United States Intervention
||US Invasion of Panama
||United States vs. Panama
||Persian Gulf War
||United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq
||Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina
||United States as part of NATO acted peacekeepers in former Yugoslavia
||Invasion of Afghanistan
||United States and Coalition Forces vs. the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to fight terrorism.
||Invasion of Iraq
||United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq
©2017 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart