By JIM VINES
As Christmas and the New Year approach it’s time for reflection. We must always remember that as “One Nation Under God,” the United States of America is far removed from the turmoil and danger that is experienced around the world on a daily basis and that we are so very blessed to live where we do, especially during the holiday season.
The closest we have come to any turmoil, unfortunately, were the events of Sept. 11, 2011.
For the wonderful gift of peace and freedom we have only one person to give thanks to – the American soldier. Remember the men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present, who have sacrificed their lives protecting us giving us this gift. It is a gift that can never be reciprocated in full and is only asked for in remembrance.
Many American soldiers will not come home this holiday season from their stations of turmoil and danger around the world and from their hospital beds as they recuperate from injuries, to be with family and friends. The American soldier will stand steadfast and strong, continuing to protect us and fight for freedom in places around the world with conditions that we cannot begin to imagine.
Flags will unfortunately drape coffins on their arrival back to our soil, with mothers, fathers, wives, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers feeling the great pain of loss. We can’t change the course that the Lord has paved, however, our prayers can help the healing and watch over those that are still in harms way. May God Bless our troops around the world and their families, and may He hold them safe until they come home again to their loved ones.
Take time to contact veterans organizations, hospitals, nursing facilities, USO, Red Cross and other military sites for information regarding sending letters, gifts and volunteering time. Let’s never forget our men and women in uniform serving in harms way and those in the many hospitals this holiday season, when loneliness becomes their enemy.
Speak to you again next week.