Today is Veteran’s Day.
This year, Veteran’s Day has had a bit of a new–I don’t know, maybe an “awe”?–about it.
This is the first year that I’ve had a child serving in the military.
Yesterday, he called me from Pensacola, where he is finishing up IT school. He had exciting news to tell me–he has received orders for his first duty station, and it will be overseas.
The location is exciting. I can’t share it yet, because it isn’t final, but it certainly was not a location that we had considered as a possibility. Most of his school buddies will be staying stateside, or will be assigned to a ship. He is being assigned shore duty, in a very awesome place. I am already plotting and thinking on how I can go visit him. As soon as possible.
When we hung up, though, there was this sadness that shockingly settled on my brain. It was unexpected. I’ve always been settled, excited, and of the mind frame that I want my children to do and go wherever it is that God, and their families take them. Missions overseas? Absolutely. Military assignments overseas? Of course. College and job opportunities that may separate us geographically? Hard on my soul, but yes.
I want them to live beautiful lives, where ever that may be.
But gosh, I am going to miss my boy.
And I am so proud. He is my hero.
Each day, in my job, I get to work with men and women who are currently serving our country in our armed forces, as well as team members who have served in various branches. In a given day, I can find myself on telecoms with Marines, Air Force or Navy personnel. And it is such a privilege, to work with them. Such a gift and an honor.
And this morning, as I prepared the daily email that I send to our team, I wanted to mark the day and remind us all why we do what we do, in our job of supporting them. Thinking through it, I found a couple of quotes to share out with our team.
The first quote I shared with our team was from Abraham Lincoln:
“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” –Abraham Lincoln
Excellent words. Honor. High Respect and esteem is due the solider and sailor. Truly, they do bear our country’s cause. As a mom of a sailor, I have deep, deep respect for my son, and the job he is doing with excellence, of defending our country.
And honor also, to my work team. They are some of the greatest people I have ever had the privilege of working with. They take very seriously the supportive work they do, for our military branches. They embody the second sentence of Lincoln’s quote. It is a gift and privilege to work with them each and every day.
The second quote, though, strikes even deeper:
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” –Joseph Campbell
The men and women of our military branches, and their families, have done this very thing. They are heroes. They have committed their lives to much more than a job. They have committed their lives to our safety and protection and well-being.
And it is a sacrifice. If anyone thinks it is not, they just need to spend some time talking to a spouse who is at home with small children, while her husband is serving in a hot zone, on the other side of the world. Or one needs to talk to a “Gold Star Mom”–a mom who has lost their child to the realities of war. Or, talk to a disabled vet, who is struggling to find housing and dealing with PTSD and loneliness. Or talk to the child, whose father or mother missed their basketball games or graduation because they were deployed.
Our military folks are heroes. And heroes make sacrifices.
I am so proud, to be the mom of a hero.