Thursday, May 21, 2015

What YOU Can Do this Memorial Day



Warning: this Memorial Day post is not going to help you host the best cookout, or make the sweetest cupcakes. It is not going to help you cook a great feast or entertain your kids at the pool. It will, however, give you some ideas and inspiration on what YOU can do to make this country better and honor our military men, women and families. 

Memorial Day is a special day set aside to encourage every American to stop what they are doing, pray for our military, and give respect and honor to those who have lost their lives while protecting our great country. 

While everyone knows the meaning of Memorial Day and why we celebrate it, many of us get caught up in the cookouts, parties, pools opening, and an extra day off work to sleep or get things done. Why is this? Is it because we don’t know what else we can do?   Is it because we don’t know how to honor those men and women who are serving, have served, or who have lost their lives while serving?

On this Memorial Day, let us not focus on what our military is or is not doing or whether or not we agree with the wars that have been fought or are still fighting. Instead, let us focus on what we can do, right now, to help our selfless brothers and sisters who gave us and who are still fighting for the land of the free. 

Here are two paths you can take:

1.       Pray for and help those who are mourning the loss of a veteran. Bring them a meal, pray over them, spend quality time with them, and thank them.  Many young people these days have lost the knowledge on how to be respectful and show honor. It’s not rocket science; it’s called following God’s commandment for our life.  We OWE respect and honor to those men, women, and families who lost a life while serving. In Romans 13:7 Paul writes “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes. If revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect, if honor, then honor”.
2.       Pray for and help those soldiers who are wounded and who are suffering from mental illness as a result of their experiences while serving. Just as there are many who lost their lives, there are many, many soldiers who  feel as though they lost their life because they feel like a different person; either physically, mentally or both.  For every one of the soldiers that falls within this category, there are just as many families who are suffering right alongside their loved one.  Soldiers who were wounded either physically or mentally and who do not get the help they need run a high risk of facing divorce, abuse, job loss, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide.

If you are finding yourself in a situation where you want to help, you want to do something but you don’t know of anyone in your community or you don’t know where to start, then donating or volunteering at an organization that helps veterans is a good place to start. I promise you that every dollar or minute spent counts. 

The Wounded Warrior Project and the Veterans Crisis Line are two that my family has supported throughout our adult years.  You might be wondering “what is my $25 or $100 really going to do for one of these organizations”? Let me tell you: it could save a life. I know because I worked at a Suicide Hotline and saw, first hand, veterans deciding not to end their lives because of the hope and encouragement that the Veterans Crisis Line provided. 

Lastly, Memorial Day is also a day of celebration. We can celebrate our freedom, our love for our country, our gratitude for our military, and those service men and women who did not lose their lives. 

By the grace of God, my brave and humble grandfather survived the deadliest campaigns of WWII: Camp Gloucester, Guadalcanal, Peleliu and Okinawa. He died just a few months ago at the age of 93. He fought, he survived, and he lived a very long and happy life. That is something to celebrate. 

 I cannot celebrate his life or my my freedom, however, until I have done my part in giving respect and honor to those who fought and did not survive, or those who fought and are barely surviving now. 

This Memorial Day, Please join me in honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

To learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project or how you can help visit:http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

To learn more about the Veterans Crisis Line and how you can help visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/   and watch this sort video. https://youtu.be/68KUJvLrIfY



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