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Posts Tagged ‘veteran’

prayer-invite

Today, well over a hundred thousand military personnel are deployed overseas. Members of the US Armed Forces are on seven continents and in 170 countries. These warriors are away from their loved ones and families because threats do not take holidays.

Pray for the 28,000 service members in South Korea, the 13,000 in Afghanistan, the 5,000 in Iraq and the 20,000 National Guard personnel who are activated alongside. They stand guard this weekend so that others can have security and know peace.

May God richly bless our troops, strengthen their families, and sustain their efforts across the globe.

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Veterans Day Prayer

veterans-day

Almighty God, I give you thanks for veterans. I give thanks that there are men and women willing to leave families, farms, and factories to sacrifice for a nation. They demonstrate right with blood, sweat, and tears.

The Bible shows warriors like Gideon and David who were unsure of your calling, but stepped forward in faith to protect others in danger.  We still have warriors like this today. People who will step forward in uncertain times to protect the ones they love and a nation they cherish so deeply.

For these men and women, I give you thanks. Bless their efforts when in conflict. Protect them in the heat of battle. Heal their wounds of war, both inside and out. Bind their families together and strengthen their faith in you. I ask these things in the name of our risen Savior. Amen.

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suicide prevention month

Suicide is a significant problem in the military claiming the lives of 22 veterans each day.

Suicide also takes a tremendous toll on our society.  In 2013, 41,149 suicide deaths were reported in the US.  We could easily read these suicide rates and forget that every number represents not only a life lost, but also a broken family, and a community wounded with pain.  Each death leaves behind a group of hurting people.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to suicide.  People contemplate suicide for many different reasons:  substance abuse, divorce, family separation, financial matters, legal trouble, a major illness, depression, and many other reasons. While the causes vary, we can all show universal concern and support.

Here are some ways to help people at-risk of suicide.

  1. Be present.  Show your concern for people in pain.  Make time for the person who is hurting. Scripture shares that we need to “bear one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2).  Take time to help others through their days of difficulty.
  2. Listen.  Allow that person to say what is causing the pain.  Share the gift of silent listening and then you can guide your friend with wise counsel.
  3. Do something.  The Bible encourages us to be, “doers of the word, not hearers only…” (James 1:22).  Too often, people at-risk are so overwhelmed with depression, stress, or anguish that they don’t know where to turn next, give that person guidance.  Share resources that can help.  Take them to a doctor, pastor, or counselor.  Call the VA hospital.  Find a way to connect the person with assistance.  Take action.

September is Suicide Prevention Month.  Take time to talk with a friend who is down.  Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255.  It is a 24/7 resource with trained professionals ready to help people find encouragement and hope.

Make a difference by addressing the problem of suicide.  Demonstrate compassion and concern for those who are hurting.  Be available to friends in need and take time to listen.  The time you invest could save a life.

 

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D-Day June 6, 1944

Dday

Remember the courage and sacrifice that moved our world in 1944.  Today there are only 855,070 veterans remaining of the 16 million who served our nation in World War II.  When you see a WW II veteran, always stop to say hello and thank you for your service.  May we always remember what they did on our behalf.

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There are certain times on the calendar when memories of past deployments run strong.  December often makes me mindful of my time overseas.

You are united with your unit as everyone has a job to perform.  You are also united in the hardships and difficulties of being separated from those you love.

December is a tough time to be separated from family and friends.  You miss the traditional family practices and customs like putting up the Christmas tree.  You miss the favorite food and dishes that made this particular time of year memorable.  You miss the gift exchanges.  But you also miss the church gatherings, Christmas pageants, and special worship services.  They are the times and events that keep us strong in faith.

When service members are deployed, we are able to receive packages in the mail.  Uncle Sam will serve us a meal with all the special fixings.  Folks will decorate an office or work station with a snowman, reindeer, or Christmas lights.  But missing church services as a family always proved to be a hardship for Soldiers to overcome, no matter where you were stationed.

This Christmas, 86,000 Soldiers will be forward deployed across the globe.  They will be overseas and away from their loved ones.  They will be working in guard towers.  They will be flying helicopters.  They will be driving tanks.  They will be constructing buildings, bridges, and roadways.  They will be aiding hospital patients.

As we gather in churches across America, let us remember those who are deployed around the globe.

Pray for our service members this month.  Lift them up as they perform their daily duties away from home and in harm’s way.  Pray for their families as they celebrate Christmas with an empty chair at the table and the heartache that can bring.  Pray for God to bring our warriors home safely and for families to heal when they are reunited.  Pray that they can gather next December and celebrate the birth of Christ as a family one more time.

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Army seal

Today, in 1775, the Continental Congress voted to raise an Army and truly make ourselves free.

Celebrate that freedom by praying for the men, women, and families who serve our nation so well.

May God protect our Soldiers, strengthen their relationships, and sustain them as they return from war.  Amen.

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Deployed service members reflect on  D-Day

On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified coastline in Normandy, France.  Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”  More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe.  The cost in lives on D-Day was high.  More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat Adolph Hitler.

Today, the men and women who fought and won World War II are now dying at the rate of 555 a day.  It is vital that we listen to America’s Greatest Generation for several reasons.  Take time to hear these heroes.  Listen to their stories and discover the bravery, courage, and dedication that liberated millions.  Their experiences can continue to shape our nation and our veterans of today.

The veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan can learn from these veterans of yesteryear.  Yes, their stories are inspiring, but they also provide an incredible picture on how WWII veterans dealt with combat, coped with loss, overcame personal obstacles, became resilient, and benefited from post traumatic growth. These veteran stories will confirm their hero status, but they can also provide insights on healing strategies, understanding the importance of battle buddies, and confirm the power of faith in God.

Remember our D-Day veterans and remember to hear their stories of survival. It just may help a veteran from the wars and deployments of today.

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