Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Family thoughts

Today is one of those days of family thoughts.

My wife and I sat in silence last night and then we talked about the day and the expectations for tomorrow.

Expectations of the normal things that life brings, but also the ones in life that are profound to family by sharing joys and concerns. Today will bring a gathering of family to acknowledge an act of service.

We have a nephew who is a career military professional, an officer by both experience and time and within a few weeks he will be deployed to Afghanistan for a long tour of duty.

He leaves a family at home. A wife, a teenage daughter and a nine-year-old son. It is not a good time for a Father to be away, it never is, but our nephew’s deployment is indicative of our nation’s military families these days.

We ask much of our soldiers and their families. For the individuals in uniform, who have chosen the military as a career and probable service in foreign lands, it is always expected, but never desired. For the families of those who serve it is a different story.

As a country we ask these families for the sacrifice of self. We ask for willing separation from the human loves and likes of our soldiers and we as a country acknowledge little in appreciation for the innocents of choice; those who by circumstance of birth or marriage must endure the constant thought of a warrior in harms way.

What families do is worry in silence and often in private. Families smile and honor the choices of our soldiers. Families hug and pray and with pride and tears send our young and their leaders off to a battle that’s different from what war use to be.

The saying from the past is still valid today. "They also serve who only stand and wait."

My wish for my nephew is courage in his choices, wisdom in his leadership, peace in his heart, kindness in his confrontations and safety, not only for him, but for all the lives he cares for and leads in the service of his country. May the blessings of life be forever embedded in the beats of his heart until he and all return to the sacred ground of home.

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