Veteran’s Day is truly a day to be celebrated. Megan and I are patriots, hence our name Two Liberty Belles. We are so thankful to veterans for the freedoms that we’ve been given. It is because of those brave men and women, because of their sacrifice, that we enjoy those freedoms today. Veterans have been around since the birth of our country. In 1776, it was Captain Nathan Hale, a 21 year old soldier who was captured and hanged by the British, that said, ” I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” That is a common attitude among veterans, and we are all the more blessed by it.
Megan and I have some veterans really close to our hearts. Our Dad was in the Navy, my father-in-law Dave was in the Army, and Megan’s husband’s dad John (he died when Chris was young) was in the Army. This was during the Vietnam War. Chris’s dad John was Seventh-Day Adventist, so he was exempted from the draft. However, he served our country as a medic, which his religion allowed. My father-in-law and John Hanks both suffered terribly from the horrors that they witnessed. Their lives were forever changed by the war. Back then, not much was known about PTSD, so they suffered in silence. Sadly, Vietnam veterans did not experience the hero’s welcome that World War II veterans did, either. We owe them all a deep debt of gratitude.
Our paternal Great Grandpa Fazakerley (also named Frank, like our grandpa) was a career Army man. He served in both World War I and World War II. His son Art was in the Navy (which is I think why our Dad chose the Navy). Our maternal Grandpa, Newt Cunningham, was in the Navy too. We have the coolest pictures of him on leave in Honolulu. Unfortunately, we don’t have pictures of our Dad in his uniform. Since Megan and I both wore his Navy uniform for Halloween when we were 13, that tells you how small he was.
Nowadays, it is so hard to imagine 18 year old boys (some younger lied about their age) signing up to fight as they did during World War II. I think we owe it to current and future generations to teach them about the sacrifices that have been made by brave men and women. There are so many excellent books and movies that portray what veterans experienced. The DVD series “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific” are great. I know I’ve mentioned these books before, but Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and In Harm’s Way by Doug Stanton are riveting. I just finished reading Lucky 666 by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin and I just can’t believe what soldiers went through! The brotherhood of soldiers reminds me of the verse, “Greater love hath no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13
We must not forget the members of today’s military. Let us not let them suffer in silence as the veterans of yesteryear. I am a proud donor of The Wounded Warrior Project and I encourage everyone to think about donating. The Wounded Warrior Project stands behind veterans and gives them support on the long road of recovery. For just $19 a month, you can make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families. If interested, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org. By the way, I’m not being paid to advertise for them!
Though Veteran’s Day has come and gone, let’s remember why we have veterans in the first place, and celebrate them everyday.
“We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.”
-Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 4, September 12, 1777
God bless our beloved veterans and God Bless America!