God blessed America with men and women who gave themselves for our freedom!

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Memorial Day 2012. Over 1,500 American men and women have given their lives in Afghanistan since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, and almost 16,000 have been wounded.

The earliest memory I have of military conflicts that affected people I knew were the Vietnam War. I remember Vietnam veterans returning from the war broken, yet proud. I see homeless veterans; I see those unable to work due to PTSD. They gave the ultimate for their friends, Americans.

My grandpa served in the World War I but never talked about it. My father served in World War II and talked very seldom about it.

My husband served in the Air Force for 22 years. We lived all over the world. I remember Keith, a JAG, preparing young Airmen for military action when we lived in the Philippines. In 1979 during the Iranian hostage crisis, if President Carter chose to send military troops, Keith would have gone.

When President Reagan bombed Libya, our family was in Italy at Aviano Air Base, near terrorist headquarters in Padua, Italy. Military families were on alert, and some women took their children back to the States.

In Italy, we kept evacuation kits for each member of the family, and the troops regularly drilled in full chemical protection gear, including gas masks.

On this special day, please take time to thank a veteran, an active duty service member, and their sacrifices for our freedom.

My prayer for our service members, veterans, and their families:

God of Hosts, bless our service members, our veterans, and their families with the knowledge that they have helped to preserve the freedom of America. Fill them with the knowledge of Your great love for them, and pour out Your perfect peace in their hearts and lives. Direct their paths and provide them with all that they need.

God bless America, and God bless our service members, veterans, and their families!

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