Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You!

Side by side they stood on that bright October afternoon. They talked quietly. Remembering. Sometimes with tears.

These two pastors, one black and one white, moved slowly down the walkway of the Vietnam Memorial.

In their memories they transported back to a time when they were each just kids. Kids who were thrown into the ugliness of a conflict that would mark their lives. It was a time when when they fought with M-16s and grenades rather than the "Sword of the Spirit."

Before we arrived at The Wall that afternoon, our little group of five or six had been walking, talking, telling stories and laughing. All from Yuma, we took advantage of some free time before we gathered on the National Mall to pray with men from around the country. Something changed when we stopped there to remember.

The silence was palpable.

These two vets each found the names of men they knew. They stayed close to each other as they located those names forever etched. They obviously thought of the horror they had seen. They grieved over the comrades they wouldn't see again in this life.

I'll never forget the sight.

On this Veterans Day, thank you! Thank you, Johnny Mac, Patti and Josh (all on our staff) for serving. Thank you Russ and Shawn and Kelly and Ox and Binky and Chris and Redhead and Tal and Rob. It's a privilege to know each of you I want you to know how grateful I am that you served our nation.

Thank you to all in our Stone Ridge family who, either now or in the past, don a uniform and place yourself in the line of fire so that we can be free.

Thank you, spouses and family members who endure the hardship of long separations, challenging days and lonely nights. Your loved ones who serve always tell me that YOU are the real heroes.

The USA has its problems. It's far from perfect. But our freedom has always come at a price. It's a price you help pay.

Thank you!


beckiwithani said...

Something like 700,000 soldiers have died so that we could go and stand in line last Tuesday. Many more have been left physically or (sometimes more tragically) emotionally disabled. I think that this is the best argument that exists for taking part in our democracy.

C. Beth said...

I'll join you in your thanks. I have blogger friend who has 5 kids, and her husband has had I think 2 tours of duty in the Gulf. I'm amazed and humbled.

Laurie said...

Thank You to all who served. Happy Birthday Marines!! Sam I just look forward to reading everyday. Thanks for starting and sharing your great stories..

Pastor Tony said...

I look back at my time in the military as one of the biggest times of personal growth that God has used in my life. I thank God for the opportunity to serve my country and I thank Him even more for those who have served and either risked or lost their lives to makes sure our freedom endures. Our freedom in this land has been bought by the blood of those not old enough to have made a name for themselves outside of their sacrifice. Thanks for the touching story.

Sam said...

Becki, I'm so grateful that you pointed out this aspect of the sacrifice of our veterans. Thank you!

Beth, the cost to your blogger friend is beyond words. Please tell her of my appreciation to her and her family.

Laurie, thanks for the encouragement. AND thank you for supporting a husband and now a daughter in Iraq. You ARE a hero.

Pastor Tony, I wrote in your blog the other day that I'm happy to have you aboard. Thank you for serving our nation. You know the price!

Ox said...

Thank you Sam!

Bri said...

I am the blogger friend with 5 kids and the wife to a soldier that just got home in July from 15 mths overseas... The support of people that don't even know us is one of the greatest feelings. Thank you.