Monday, April 6, 2009

Prayer is the Best Gift


The average age of the U.S. soldier is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howizzitor. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. Daddy may still consider her his little girl, but for her country, she is an unyeilding warrior, willing to pay the ultimate price to protect people she will never meet.

As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot.. A short lull, a little shade, and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."

When you read this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and every other hostile region of the world. This can be very powerful....... Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airman, or Coastguardsman, prayer is the very best one.

30 comments:

Hammer said...

Good post. Everyone needs to read this.

Mike Golch said...

great posting.they are inmy prayers daily.for I know they need the prayers and a kind word now and then.

Might i add this to the mix as well: bumper sticker if you can read this thank a Teacher,for your freedon Thank a soldier and veterans.

MightyMom said...

pray daily.

AirmanMom said...

hammer...I appreciate the visit!

AirmanMom said...

mike...thanks for your words!!!!

AirmanMom said...

mm...amen!

Mary Ellen said...

What a wonderful post. It paints such a vivid picture of our young soldiers as they really are. I am praying with them in spirit.

Donna said...

Amen! I am saying a prayer for them right now!

Anndi said...

Soldier - Shawn Hlookoff

"Some people say, I'm a fighter
Some people hate what I do
I stand for my country
I stand for you

I got a family that loves me
They respect what I do
Try telling your child you're leaving
Believe me it's a hard thing to do

So, If I die don't judge me
Cause, I will not judge you
And If I die, please accept it
Cause, I would die for you

We have our reasons
Rules, morals and beliefs
I won't slander your opinion
I'm just searching for peace

So, If I die don't judge me
Cause, I will not judge you
And If I die, please accept it
Cause, I would die for you"

I think of their families every day and light candles for the men and women from all the allied forces regularly.

Thank you for posting this,

Lest we forget

Ann
proud daughter of a Canadian Forces WWII vet
proud friend of a Marine

Anndi said...

I posted the song on my blog if you would like to hear it. Thank you again...

Angus Mhor said...

Thank you, Airmom. Please send your beloved son my thanks and love. I pray for him daily and I'm so thankful for him. He is our heart and soul, even for those that don't know it or don't care. I send a good hard hug to you, too. I'm the daughter of a Marine and the wife of a former Naval Petty Officer. I'm proud!

p.s-Sarge sent me.

Sarge Charlie said...

My war has the names of 58,000 young men carved on a black granite wall, their average is less than 21 years old, too young to vote at the time.....

Single and loving it said...

What a beautiful post and so true. God bless our troops.

Love Letters to an American Soldier said...

I say one every night. Thanks for reminding us of the power of prayer.

Tonjia said...

done. and I continue to pray every day for the safety of these brave men and women who protect us, and who fight for our freedom.

Flag Gazer said...

I love this post - thank you!

AirmanMom said...

me...I thank you for taking the time to remember our troops!

AirmanMom said...

donna...I have no doubt our soldiers feel our prayers!

AirmanMom said...

anndi...thank you so very much for posting this poem, I am going to save it...just beautiful! Thank you!

AirmanMom said...

anndi...I will stop by your blog to hear the song! Thanks!

AirmanMom said...

angus...welcome to my blog and a special thanks to sarge! I do appreciate your words! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

AirmanMom said...

sarge...each and every time I visit your wall, my heart hurts. Once again, I do thank you for your service!

AirmanMom said...

S&L...thanks for stopping by!

AirmanMom said...

LL..you are your soldier are in my prayers! Thanks for leaving such kind words.

AirmanMom said...

tonjia...thank you so very much! I also thank you for the kind words you left on your blog..thank you!!!!!

AirmanMom said...

flag gazer...I thank you for your kind words!

skywind said...

As a soldier, he died for the country's fate finally, where is his honor. Let us sacrificed their lives for the country to pay tribute to the warriors.
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AirmanMom said...

skywind...thank you for stopping by.

Debbie said...

One of the most true and heartfelt posts I've ever read. Brought tears to my eyes and needs to be read by everyone. All our troops continue to be in my prayers...

AirmanMom said...

debbie...I thank you for stopping by!