I remember my first brush with loss...my beloved cousin Michael was killed in Vietnam just days before he was due to come home. I was only 3 years old but that image still haunts me, family members sitting in the living room as the Marine Captain came from Phoenix to deliver the flag they had draped over his coffin for the trip home. As he handed the flag to my uncle and Sylvia, Micheal's 19 year old widow, he said "I am truly sorry for your loss sir, your country owes a deep debt of gratitude to your son".
Just this week the loss of a soldier hit closer to home then I expected. A dear friend posted about her sons best friend who was killed in Afghanistan just three months before coming home. I have another blogging friend whose husband is a soldier who recently deployed and we pray for his safe return every day. My son is in JROTC in high school and is considering enlisting in three years. I am proud of his dedication and knowing his is following a long line of men in our family who have served our country since World War I.
To those who have served our country and paid the ultimate price for our freedom and those who are protecting our freedom at this very moment, I am honored and humbled. May you return safe to your families, there are many of our brave men who never come home.