By Kelly Carr
As I mentioned last week, I often avoid negative information. As you might guess, hearing about the pain of war experiences fits into that category. Therefore, I have always struggled to ask more about my relatives’ time in military service. I don’t want to picture my loved ones facing devastation.
But this year I had the chance to find out more about a few family members and their service for our country. I’ll be thinking of these stories this week on Veterans’ Day.
In May our family traveled to Boston with my in-laws. One of our stops there was on the harbor, where we originally went to see the U.S.S. Constitution. But next to that historic vessel, we spent more time touring the U.S. Casin Young, a Navy destroyer.
My father-in-law served in the Marines during the Vietnam War. He doesn’t share a lot of details about his time there. But as we walked throughout the destroyer, he started telling me the memories this ship brought to mind.
Seeing the kind of living quarters and working conditions he experienced, my respect for his service deepened. I considered it an honor to listen and be the recipient of his stories.
Twice this year I have also been informed of other family members’ military service at their funerals. Both my grandfather and my great-uncle passed away suddenly this year. I learned more of their service history in conversations at their memorials.
The tears came strongest when the folded American flags were handed to my grandmother and my great aunt. I appreciated the honor shown for these men and their sacrifices for the country.
Today I know many veterans, former and active, young and old, men and women, who have dedicated portions, if not all, of their lives to our country in military service. I want to take this time to thank them and thank those of you reading who have protected freedom and honored the values of the United States. We are empowered as citizens because of the acts of bravery and dedication you have committed on our behalf.
The service of veterans gives me a visual representation of what it means to be committed and dedicated to a cause greater than oneself. Truly that’s our job as followers of Christ—to serve one greater than ourselves.
In this issue of The Lookout, we consider the topic of being committed to God specifically by being dedicated to his Word. Veterans’ discipline and fortitude can be an inspiration to us as we seek to sharpen our obedience to God by digging deeper into the Bible.