Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Real American Heroes

To celebrate Veteran's Day today, we headed out to the Hy-Vee breakfast with Grandpa. We started this tradition last year and I hope that we can continue for many years to come! It's more than just having Jackson spend time with Great-Grandpa, it's about exposing him to the real heroes of our society. He's still a little young to understand, but I did my best at explaining that the men and women there today were all soldiers like Daddy! It is so important to let him know that we honor and support our veterans-- of all branches, active duty or retired, family members and even strangers!

Jackson and Great-Grandpa Duff, Retired Air Force

Jackson really surprised me this morning as I was getting him dressed. Chacey had on her shirt first and he pointed and said, "flag!" I really didn't know he knew the concept of the flag. And then he cheered, "wooohh!" I haven't quite figured out where he picked up on cheering for the flag, aside from maybe at Derek's Basic Graduation, when he had a flag and we cheered for Daddy. Either way, it was just really sweet.

Jackson and Chacey got really into waving their flags!

And of course, eating breakfast!

We can't wait to celebrate with our number one Veteran next year! We love you Derek and we are so very proud of you!! He is heading off post this evening to attend an appreciation dinner at a local church and he is VERY excited. (He was very disappointed about missing a pot-luck dinner at our church last week and so this is his consolation!)

A big thank you to all the servicemen, past and present. Derek and I both have several Veteran family members and friends, both active duty and retired, and they each were contributed inspiration in Derek's decision to enlist. And lots of prayers go out to the men and women serving in battle right now.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
I took this quotation from a friend's facebook page. I just love it. For some good, easy ideas to do something for a soldier, check out this link.

But let's not just focus only on the members serving in combat. I think we tend to reach out to families and pray intently for those on Active Duty, which I undoubtedly believe is our civilian duty. However, let's not forget about the ones who've already served and are now back home. Soldier suicide is at an all-time high these days- June marks the all time high with 34 deaths. This is not okay. Have you seen last years Oscar-winning movie, The Hurt Locker?! (Not that I recommend it for a relaxing night in, but as a good image of the psychological battle our soldier endure).

Thousands of men and women come home each month and are fortunate enough still have all of their limbs, no visible scars, and most of their friends. However, each and every soldier will come home with psychological scars that may haunt them forever- some more serious than others. The divorce rate upon returning soldiers is through the roof. These people are not only fighting overseas; they have intense battles to fight upon returning home.

The military has improved the services they proved greatly in the past decade, but we need to do our part too. Granted, there's not a lot we can say or do considering they experienced something we can not even fathom to understand. However, genuine love and support, deep gratification, and reaching out to them can go a long way. Never trivialize what they do. Listen if you have a friend who wants to talk about it. But more likely, if they don't want to talk about it-- don't pry. You can let them know you are there for them without having dig. And truth be told, we probably couldn't cope with the real details anyway. Most importantly, remember these soldiers in your prayers, and pray intently. Thank the Lord for our real American heroes.



  1. Props to you for honoring our soldiers with your post. They DO deserve so much more recognition than they get and God bless each and every one who has served, or is serving at this time. They are heroes indeed!

  2. Thank you, Amy, for this post.

  3. This is beautiful! I don't actually have any veterans in my life, but do me a favor and thank yours for me!

  4. Love your blog!
    I'm a new follower!
    Amy from Minnesota


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