Thank You, U.S. Veterans

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I honor you, the Veterans of these United States of America.

I am a proud widow and a daughter of military veterans.

This day makes me stand proud although sad.

It makes me sad for all those who have lost their lives due to war.

I honor those veterans who return with physical, mental, emotional wounds.  I am so very sorry.  I pray for you and your families.  I honor the families who serve alongside of their husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, grandchildren for they are serving this country as well.  Thank you to each and every one of you.

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My husband, Kenneth, was an United States Army combat veteran, 101st Airborne Division/Co. B 3/506; served in Vietnam, 1968-69 serving from 1967-1970.  Kenneth died this past June 7th of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a recognized type of cancer caused by Agent Orange.  Yes, Kenneth served on the ground fighting in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.  Agent Orange was definitely present there.

Yes, this next photo is my Kenneth in 1967 when he was going through the U.S. Army Airborne School (or Jump School {as he called it}) as part of the 101st Airborne training in Fort Benning, GA.   (P.S. I wish I had known him then!! : ) )

Kenneth jump school

Kenneth, you were a soldier once…and young, along with so many others in so many wars.  I look at this photo of you and see such a very young man…a boy!  Boys, now girls too, tend to fight the wars, don’t they?

“The Class of 1965 came out of the old America, a nation which disappeared forever in the smoke that billowed off the jungle battlegrounds where we fought and bled. The country which sent us off to war was not there to welcome us home. It no longer existed.” *

In the Prologue of We Were Soldiers Once…and Young, the authors were speaking of the Vietnam War.  That is the war my Kenneth fought in.  He came home with what we now call PTSD, but there was no label back then.  They just came home and did the best they could.  Kenneth made it.  I am sorry he fought in that war.  I am sorry we as a nation fought in that war.  I am sorry so many died in that war.  I am just sorry about all wars.  I do not like arguments let alone wars.

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I am sorry that we did not welcome you home as all service men and women deserve.  So I say to you and to all Veterans, Welcome home.

Kenneth in Vietnam

Kenneth, I have always been so proud of you.  I respected you and loved you with my whole being.  Although I did not know you back then, I am so glad and grateful I was blessed to call you my husband for twenty-five years.  Thank you for marrying me and loving me as you did.  You were the best husband and friend to me.  Thank you, Love.  I am so sorry that Lymphoma took over your body though (for my loss).  You are with Jesus now and that is the best news of all!  Praise Him.  Praise the Lord.

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My father was a Navy doctor, a “lifer.”  He loved his Navy.  He served in WWII in the Pacific and then went on to be a part of the post-war Manhattan Project (Bikini, Eniwetok Islands) where radiation exposure took his life by Pancreatic Cancer.  He practiced medicine in the Navy for 20 years until he died at age 46.

My Daddy died when I was 12.  Thank you, Mama, for loving us through such a difficult season of life, of death, for all of us.

My parents are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

 

My family is honored.  We miss them.

Daddy, I miss you so much.  It has been 58 years since you died, yet it could have been yesterday.  I sometimes feel like I am still 12, having that giant Daddy-hole in my heart.  I love you so and wonder at all I missed by God taking you home so early in our lives.  I am glad we had Mama for almost 99 years.  She had a hard row ahead of her with three girls-me just on the verge of becoming a teenager.  But we made it.  We all turned out well.  Daddy, thank you for loving us so.  Thank you for your dedication to the Navy and being a doctor.  You were loved by so many and missed by so many.  I pray I will see you again one day on the other side.  I love you, Your oldest daughter

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Freedom is not FREE…never will be either!

Freedom comes with a huge price…one worthy of a fight…but where do we as the United States of America draw the line.  As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI, while pondering WWII, especially this weekend as our nation celebrates Veterans Day, how many wars does it take to be free? How many lives?

Where have all the soldiers gone
Gone to graveyards, every one
Oh, when will they ever learn

Oh, when will they ever learn? **

When will WE ever learn?

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  1 Peter 2:16 ESV

For He Himself is our peace, Who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making

peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  Ephesians 2:14-21

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our/my freedom.  You offered Your Son as the Sacrifice to redeem Your children to You.  I am and will be grateful forever, Abba Father.  May I live as You have called me to live, Father God.  Thank You for these men and women who have served and are currently serving this country.  I pray that we do not forget them but honor them in this life for the honor with which most have served. I lift up those today who came back from war with scars on or in their bodies, minds, and souls. Protect and heal them, Father. I pray for the families of those fallen soldiers, the families of those who are currently serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, in other areas of this world where they are in harm’s way.  I pray for the families of those who have returned from war injured in one way or another.  Oh God, be with them each and all.  I lift up our Coast Guard who are risking their lives to interdict the drugs and the cartels who are making these runs.  I lift the military who have been called to our Southern border alongside the Border Patrol.  I pray You give them and the government wisdom and compassion regarding those many who are seeking asylum to a country they hope is a better place to live.  Oh, Father, there are so many concerns.  I pray on my knees before You. Thank You for hearing my cries.  May we each turn to You and know that You are God and Father of all.  Amen.

 

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American Flag:  http://wallpapernpictures.blogspot.com/2012/07/american-flag.html

Fall in Arlington National Cemetery/Veterans Day:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/11/11/veterans-day-weekend-fall-color-at-arlington-national-cemetery-photos/?utm_term=.ca70a6b848a1

Private photos from my own collection of Kenneth, Daddy, gravesite at ANC

History Repeating Vietnam/Vietnam Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C.:  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial

* Quote: from “We Were Soldiers Once…and Young” by Hal Moore and Joe Galloway

**  from “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” by Pete Seeger, 1955

Free in Christ

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I am free.  Christ paid the highest price so that I could be free.  Free to live this life for Him and with Him…free to walk with God, my Creator….free to love, learn to love as He loves, free to care as He cares.

The liberties with which I have gained by choosing Jesus are yours as well.  You are free if you have given your life to Jesus.  Do you believe in the One Who died for your sins, was buried, was resurrected after three days?  Have you asked forgiveness for your sins?  Do you believe in the Trinity…God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?  They are One as they are Three.  Have you asked Jesus into your heart?

If ‘yes’ is the answer to these questions, then you join me in being FREE in Christ!

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:36

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.  Gal 5:1

Living in a country which allows many freedoms is wonderful, yet Christ is Who actually sets us free.

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Yes, the Constitution of the United States gives us many rights and liberties.

Amendment 1:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

Amendment 13:  Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Amendment 14:  All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 

Amendment 15:  The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Amendment 19:  The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Amendment 26:  The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age. 

These are only a few of the rights allowed us as citizens of this country.

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Those reading this from other countries may and may not have these things given to you.  Whether or not, though, believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior gives you a freedom that others cannot claim until they know Jesus.

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  John 8:31-32

 ἐλευθερόω

eleutheroō

to liberate, deliver, make free, set at liberty from the dominion of sin

(This Greek word is the same word in all the New Testament Scriptures I have used here on this post.)

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The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;

To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.  Isaiah 61:1-3

דְּרוֹר

dĕrowr

freedom; hence, spontaneity of outflow, and so clear:—liberty, pure.

(The Old Testament has this Hebrew word of similar meaning.)

 

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Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.  2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Once we accept this freedom in Christ, we have much to do and much to live for.  It is our privilege to stand strong in this freedom, whether we live behind bars, under scrutiny, under demeaning people, or living in fear.  It is also our life’s work to project Christ even when we live in a free country.  There are many who do not believe in a god or in God.  There are many who idolize a god, but it leads not to Christ.  Many countries in this world which once saw God as their leader no longer see God as such.  Many countries depend upon people of varying powers or worldliness as their leaders.  Ideologies may not be Christian either in vast parts of this world.  This Christian life is not usually easy, but it is ours as we believe in Christ.  We are made in His image and others are watching in order to catch us doing something they deem as wrong, or doing something they see as Christlike.  They may be making a judgment upon our ways in order to determine their decision about Christ.  So it is our privilege and position to enable others to see Christ in us as we walk in this world.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  Galatians 5:13
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  1 Peter 2:16
 

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:22-23

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Father God, I adore You and am so very grateful that you are in my life. I live under Your wings of power and protection.  You hold me close, lifting me near.  You have granted me this freedom to live for Your sake and not for mine.  You ask me to keep my eyes on You and that is my desire, my goal.  Forgive me when I fail You.  I want to reflect Your Son to this world in which You have placed me.  I want to fly freely.  I have come to know, in this liberty that You have allowed, that I am Yours and Yours alone.  I am free because I am Yours.  For some, that would not be considered free, but I see it as so.  I can fly because of You.  I am Yours and want to live my life in You.  I hold near to You as I learn to be obedient to Your calling for me.  I love You, Lord.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  Romans 8:2

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C.H. Spurgeon Quote/Graphic:  http://www.depravedwretch.com/social-images/