Today is Veteran’s Day. Take a moment today and give thanks to the millions of men and women across our nation who have served our country. To spouses and families, also, we can offer a prayer and share our deep gratitude.
I have had the true honor of serving as pastor to countless veteran’s and their families over the years. And what a privilege it has been to hear their stories. Some leaving simple, rural lives to be thrust into the complex world of international travel, new scenery and unimaginable adventures. Many more, though, seeing sights and living horrors they never thought possible, fighting and seeing friends killed before their eyes. Returning home, they could never complete a full night’s sleep without waking in a cold sweat, memories flooding back in a cascade of terror.
Many of these friends and church members never heard the term PTSD; most were never diagnosed. But their families understood that something had happened while they were deployed. Their friends might not have gotten the details, but they saw the tragic change. Thankfully most of these good men and women I’ve been blessed to know returned home to a healthy support system, a family who cared and a church who loved them and welcomed them back.
But there are so many others. Today, some are homeless. Others are self-medicating with alcohol or drugs. Others are coping, but only barely.
So on this Veteran’s Day, take some time and say thanks. If possible, do so in person to a man or woman you know has served our nation. But at a minimum, take a moment to offer a prayer of gratitude; and include a heartfelt petition for those whose support systems have failed them, who are struggling, and who too often are being forgotten. Let’s not forget them today.
Thank a Vet. And say a prayer. That’s the least we can do today.