Thank you to all who have served their country in peace time and military conflict. Walk up to someone in uniform and thank them for their service, pay for their meal, listen to their concerns. Those of us who have not served or been close to someone who has served have no idea the life sacrifices and life changes that have occurred.
Some people have made a conscious decision not to serve, but many could not because of age or limitations either physical or mental. Many people supported our front line troops by working in the manufacturing plants or the agricultural industry. My father, Henry Kampe (1916-1983), was declared 4F. He was physically not able to serve due to a childhood illness. He served in World War II in the ammunitions plant as a safety officer and first-aid instructor. My mom, Mildred Schuler Kampe (1919-2008), worked in the ammunitions plant. They and many others played an important support roll.
We can honor our military be encouraging them to share their experiences either in interviews such as StoryCorps, BBC Podcasts, BBC News or in writing articles and books such as Navajo Code Talkers. Personal family stories may be shared on Fold3 or Facebook.
Military service always changes lives. By reading military family narratives, the non-military person acquires a small glimpse into their world. We can never understand their thoughts, but we can understand how to better encourage them. In his book Reaching the Lost, Philip Peterson relates how his military service strengthened his personal faith. The training provided structure and discipline needed for his future vocation. On page 17, Philip writes that 14 July 1945 the company received shipping orders with no idea where. He was encouraged by reading Hebrews 13:5. The Lord reminded Philip that whatever His will is, it will be done. On page 39, Philip writes that after a year of living together, one fellow commented “You sure have a strong and sound belief and stick to it.” Even today, Philip Peterson daily sticks to his strong and sound belief.