The holidays are getting closer, and many are making plans to get together with family for the holidays. We are baking, planning, wrapping, and cleaning, getting ready for the celebrations to come. As you work toward whatever you have planned for your celebration, please stop and think about the service members overseas, in harms way, working to protect our freedom and the freedom of so many other people around the world. They have been tasked with so many jobs this holiday season and they are away from spouses, kids, parents, siblings, and everyone that they miss. As the wife of a retired military member, I remember so many holidays missed, so I want to make sure that all the active duty service members and their families know that they are thought about at this special time of the year.
As a military spouse, whose service member is retired, I remember the holidays being harder than all the birthdays and anniversaries that were missed. I often tried to travel to visit family around the holidays because that somehow made it easier. Traveling at the holidays was never easy, and traveling alone with two small children put my patience to the ultimate test, but it was worth not being alone for the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, the base had activities, and support, but being with family somehow made things easier. I was able to get some help, and rest, and to be taken care of for awhile, and I think that’s what I really needed.
As you shop, and entertain, and see all the lights for Christmas, remember that so many people around the world are not able to celebrate due to oppression. They are not able to enjoy being with family, for many reasons. Our military members are in harms way, trying to celebrate as they can, but I’m told that they are thinking about home. There are many organizations that send care packages, but there is never enough to make things okay to be away from home. I have talked with so many Veterans that talk about getting letters and cards and treats, but they would give it all back to be home for the holidays, and enjoying time with family, but they have a job to do, and they are dedicated to get the job done.
The spouses, and parents, and kids (and so many other family members), left behind, think everyday about their service member and pray that they will return safe and sound. It would be wonderful if all the members return in the same way that they left, but many return with emotional wounds that they may not even know they have. Their families welcome them back, they do the best they can, but there are consequences to war, and to what they have had to endure.
At this most festive time of year, don’t forget the men and women fighting around the world for us. Say thank you, when you see an active duty member, or Veteran. Provide support to their families, when they have to be strong during a deployment. Our military sacrifices every day, and at this time of the year, they can use a few extra prayers and thought, so they can return and be happy for life.