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The Cost of the American Soldier

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This weekend I am reminded that the things that we take for granted are the very things we should be most grateful for. So this post is dedicated to our men and women, present and past, and to the families that wait and have waited quietly for their return. Who have at times felt alone and discouraged, as if no one cared, this post is simply to let you know YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND WE DO CARE

I am always moved by our soldiers' unanimous expressions of dedication, their commitment to service and their desire to return to their units and comrades-in-arms. I am just as moved by the tremendous commitment and loyalty displayed by the families of our soldiers and the support that they provide. When we talk of service and sacrifice, we must never forget that for every soldier stands another individual be it a wife, husband, son, daughter, mother, father and other loved ones who stand behind our soldiers. Their love and their loyalty to our soldiers are invaluable in every aspect of what our Military does. Our Military is more than soldiers and equipment. Our Military is made of men and women with hopes and dreams and a commitment to the ideals of freedom, and, yes, the willingness to fight for those ideals. The devotion and support of our Military families represents all that we fight for and all that we hold dear.

What is the greatest gift the American Soldier has given in the name of sacrifice?

For most of us we would answer “His Life” .For the mother and wife the answer is usually “His time” that is taken for a year or more or in some cases forever. A whole man may say “His limb, his health”, In reality it is not something that someone who has never served their country can properly answer

What does a Sergeant give to us when his team is all killed? Or a friend, that is dear as any brother can be lies in pieces in his arms? Or the commander that counts his men at the gate over and over again, denying the truth, refusing to stop to admit that one, some or many, will never return. What does a soldier give to us when he takes another human life? One, two or many, what he gives took just one shot but will remain with him for the rest of his life.

What about the medic, who works for hours in vain to try to save a strange, blood covered man, woman, or child. A face with no name, but a child of God all the same.

What about the soldiers that lay in hospital beds missing arms or legs, and still their one desire is to return to a foreign land filled with others t that would do them more harm, just to stand in harm’s way with their brother in arms once more

What of the soldiers that conceal deep and unseen wounds that they struggle with in secret over the years that eventually may wear them thin, will he ever win back his gift.

Whatever the cost, it is given to Americans one and all. They bear the same burden and while most can hide the scars, no doctor can heal them and no saint can atone. May they find rest in Christ alone and the forgiveness found there

Unless one has given the same terrible gift, it cannot be fully seen or completely understood. Misunderstood, secret and unfelt by most of the American masses. For those of us who have never given the sacrifice, we profess awe, and a feign understanding, in grand speeches, marches and holidays, but we will never fully comprehend the deepest sacrifice given unbraden and freely.

But for many American soldiers throughout the last century, it leaves the brave quaking alone in darkness, that haunts them throughout their life.

So what is the greatest gift a soldier gave to you, us lucky Americans?

His life, health, time or wealth?

It’s not quite that mundane and simple; most have given us freely a part of their humanity. They have given without grudge, to all Americans sinner or saint, we all have received this blessing

Today while we enjoy memorial day with our families, friends, and we enjoy our freedom, remember and be thankful for our rights, while given unalienable by God, are exacted through the brave soldiers sacrifice of their humanity to you

Tell a soldier thank you , but unless you have served and sacrificed, don’t think you can fully understand his pain, pride and honor in giving his gift of humanity to you

I stand here in ignorance of your deep sacrifice with yourself, you family, you children, and lost time to say THANK YOU. I will never truly understand what was given by you so that I can enjoy my freedom that you sacrificed for.

To the men and women of the American military who have taken the hardest duty. We've seen your skill and your courage in armored charges and midnight raids, and lonely hours on faithful watch. We have seen the joy when you return, and felt the sorrow when one is lost. I want you and your families to know: America is proud of you.

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