“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” 1 John 3:16
The men and women who have served our country in the armed forces embody this scripture. They have loved us in a way that we will never fully grasp if we have not served along side them. I acknowledge that my experience with this reality is removed. No one in my immediate family has served in the armed forces. Both of my grandfathers did, but their time of service was relayed to me through stories and memorabilia. I do not know what it is like to say good-bye to a loved one and wonder if that will be the last time we embrace. I do not know what it is like to be separated by thousands of miles from someone I love and know that I cannot do anything to protect them. I do not know what it is like to welcome someone I love home after a term of service with the knowledge that months have passed and they have experienced sadness and hardship in a way that I will never comprehend. I also do not know what it is like to be the one sent— the one who leaves the comforts of home behind and goes knowing that they may not return and that even if they do it will be different, they will be different, when they get home.