Out of the stillness of the short respite my husband and I both had prior to retiring to bed last night, the silence was broken as I popped a question to my husband, who used to be in the Navy and had served in the Persian Gulf War [August 2, 1990-February 28, 1991].
"How do you feel, as a Veteran, every time we celebrate Independence Day or now, this coming holiday, Veteran's Day?"
Not seeing his glance as I was sitting on the recliner, hidden from his sight that was concentrating on the glowing monitor, I heard a short stammer...Perhaps, he started to wonder why after so many years, I had asked that specific question.
I didn't know the reason either. Except that I knew I wanted to know the soldiers' perspectives. We know what they all go through. We know what their families go through. All the sacrifices both have to make. I know...Because I've been there...Except that's what I know. I wanted to know how it felt coming from a soldier. From a veteran. Whom do I have but my own husband when this thought came to mind?
How do they feel when here I am, enjoying each beautiful day, calm and sipping my Starbucks favorite drinks while they are out in a foreign land, staying alert, with anxiety in different levels, anticipating to defend and preserve their own lives against those unwanted or unexpected attacks from the enemies? Have they even thought of taking a drop of water to quench those thirsts and soothe their parched lips?
What are the thoughts in their minds, as I rest in my favorite recliner, watching tv programs, as they are huddled close, deep in those foxholes their own hands must have dug, yet do not offer a permanent safety?
What goes on in their hearts as I enjoy this personal liberty wherever I go in this land, in which they are trying to protect from oppressors?
Or how their hearts must be breaking as they think of their separated and loved ones far away from them as I enjoy my time with my family?
And how they must endure to be dressed in those heavy camouflage battle gear yet here I am whining whether it's too hot or too cold?
And yes, here I am looking good, holding my Bible, as they go out there, with rifles and ammo's on their hands, with fingers ready to fire if enemies appear?
"Sad....", my husband answered.
"Sad?" I repeated to make him explain and satisfy my growing hunger to search for more answers.
"Yeah...Sad...'Coz many lives have been lost every time," he softly uttered.
"So, you're against the war?"
"I didn't say that. If it's necessary to defend, we have to do that....But I'm sad that many lives, sometimes, are being lost and some are unnecessary losses," he replied with a sad tone and there, I decided I had been answered enough. That my search for an answer was over.
I got the point dearest husband. I got it! That we have to fight for this freedom if necessary. We know the risks of losing lives but we must to protect this precious liberty. Because freedom is not free. Oh yes....It even happened long time ago. Even before we were all born. As it was planned. That Jesus would come to die. To give us freedom. And many are being persecuted also because of our faith in Him. But we must stand confident in the truth that God has shared with us, believers. No matter what circumstances around us. No matter what others say. We know the TRUTH....
Veteran's Day is coming up. And every year, it will be celebrated. Like July 4th. And every time, lives are being risked and lost. How do I honor them? These veterans and soldiers? All of them? I had spent a couple of hours searching for tribute videos but now I know, no amount of tribute videos will show how much I want to honor them.
"Thank you," I softly uttered to my husband and I wasn't sure if he heard me as he went back to typing something on the keyboard.
I know I can start by saying a simple "Thank you!"...And I can go on further by including them in my prayers...Not only on these holidays...But in each day that is to come.
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: NLT Bible ]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].