Do you feel the power of God when you look at all he has done for this nation? Do you stop for a minute and think of all that has been given and lost to ensure we citizens remain free? Not only have those called to serve in years past, but young women and men have volunteered and continue to step up to protect what our founding fathers began with deep thoughts, determination and many actions toward freedom as we enjoy today.
Tears start to roll earthbound as I say a prayer to honor those in my life that have endured the pain and agony of war. My dad was one of those. He rose to protect me and you. He moved around the world to do so, more than once, much like many women and men that serve in the armed forces today. He saw many atrocities and horrors of war in Vietnam and then later in Korea. He only spoke twice of these things to me. I was too young to share his everyday army life that encompassed many of his days of war. He spoke of losing friends, men who served next to him in battle as they stood feet from him. I recall the image in my mind as if this story is being told to me today. How unimaginable the depth to which he was affected. His mind and life outlook changed. The man I knew as Dad returned damaged and very different. He tirelessly attempted to sleep only to be awakened startled by his own screaming. He jumped when encountering the least little movement by anything around him: his kids, his wife, the doorbell, our dog and many, many more things.
My life changed too, for he brought the pangs of war home with him. I was lost to any understanding of my childhood battleground. I became a victim of war. Having never served a day of service for country in my life, my days were victim to man's conflict of existence to remain a country with freedom. I reach to comprehend how I accept and resolve this conflict within me.
I too, became part of America's war to remain free. A casualty of war, repeatedly assaulted and raped so many times as a youth, I grew up with monstrous confusion and consternation about what to do about this polar conundrum. How do I respect and love the one who fought for me, yet took so many things from me because of those battleground fights. Too many tears have fallen by now and I accept what was good and bad about my father's service for freedom.
In explaining how I feel today, all I can think of is a quote from 'Road to Perdition' when Tom Hanks shares about Michael Sullivan, the father in this epic, when asked if Sullivan was a good man or a bad man, he would always give the same reply, "He was my father."
A single tear drops to the ground and I turn away to try and live another moment in faith knowing this is God's plan for me.