I have always had a “soft spot” for soldiers. I am in such awe that they would choose to use their lives to provide freedom and justice for others…even strangers in far away lands.
For those of you with children…think about your child “choosing” to use his (her) life to defend others. Yes, a part of me would feel very proud – but a bigger part of me would be afraid. I think motherhood is what has caused my admiration for soldiers to grow and intensify, because now knowledge of the sacrifice tugs at my “mom heart.”
We have a dear friend, Jeff, who is a father of five, that recently deployed to Afghanistan – voluntarily. He is a fighter pilot who has trained pilots for a couple of decades and he felt compelled to volunteer for a tour as he wanted to show support for the many soldiers he has trained, by fighting alongside them.
As I have tried to wrap my head around his choice to put himself in harms way and as I have prayed for his safety, and the peace for his dear wife and children, I have longed to understand…why? Why would he knowingly, willingly, choose to put himself in mortal danger in Afghanistan?
Jeff and my husband are very close and my husband is in full support of his decision and has even had the blessing of speaking to him by phone from his post in Afghanistan. Jeff suggested to my husband that he read the book, Joker One, A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood, written by Donovan Campbell. When hubby brought it home, I promptly swiped it and read it cover to cover.
I was finishing up the last two chapters on a plane trip two days ago and the man sitting next to me handed me his napkin, as mine had disinegrated in a sea of wetness and tears were splashing onto the book unrelentingly. I looked up at him, clearly a mess, and rotated the book so that he could see the cover and he read it, looked at the photo and simply said knowingly, “Ooohh.”
I was not crying so much because of the death and destruction I was reading about, although that did occur, I was crying because I was enlightened as to the “why” question that has always plagued my mind.
If you have ever wondered about the head and heart of a soldier…I would encourage you to read this book, it truly provides ensight and will cause you to appreciate the men and women of the American armed forces.
And…if I may…I would ask you to pray for the American soldiers who are serving you at this very moment. Would you also do this girl a favor? Would you ask God to protect my friend Jeff?
Heavenly Father, I am thankful for the men and women of the armed forces who serve faithfully and I would ask that you provide them with protection and grant them your tender mercies, encourage and bring them to a knowledge of you, so that you may fill them with peace and hope. Please also provide peace to their loved ones and draw them daily closer to you.