More than One Way to Give Your Life for Your Country

He was helping me carry my packages to my car. I was buying some items for a church group donation. We were collecting for a men’s group home in a nearby town. Most of the men there are homeless veterans making their way back into their communities.
This man was a veteran from Iran. That caught my ear. I’d never met a veteran of Iran before.
We talked about the 1979 hostage crisis when radical Iranian students invaded the US embassy and captured 52 US citizens. They remained in captivity for 444 days.
In 1979, I was a young mother with two young children and a newborn. My younger daughter was one week old when the embassy fell. She was nearly 15 months old when they were freed.
This man helping me with packages had been part of the failed rescue mission. He said it was his “Benghazi”.
I could tell he had an edge to him. Couldn’t be bothered with small talk. Had seen too many big things in life to talk small.
He mentioned PTSD and some other disorders in quick succession. He had seen things. He had done things.
He said that until he got this job, where he’s worked for five years, he’d had trouble staying employed. This company understood him. Perhaps what they understood was what he’s given for us. Perhaps they understood better than we know.
There is more than one way to give your life for your country.
We say it. We tell them thank you for serving. What we need to realize is that sometimes we are talking to the walking wounded who have truly given their lives for us. They are not the same people we sent off to fix a crisis.
He left part of himself over there.
We can’t thank him enough.
We can’t thank them enough.

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0 Replies to “More than One Way to Give Your Life for Your Country”

  1. While I was working, I met a man wearing a vet’s hat acknowledging his WWII participation. I recognized the division patch he had, too. Having been a history teacher and WWII buff I knew he was in it “up to his neck”. Somewhat in awe I said, “I recognize your patch and I’m not sure how to thank you.” He responded, “You just did.” I have made it a habit to greet people wearing vet hats with a big “thank you for your service”. I never served so I see veterans, police, firemen, and others that go willingly where there is danger as heroes. I also include missionaries in this group. These people go in my place to do a job I cannot go do. They litetally are standing in the breech absorbing the blows answering their country and or their God’s calling. God bless them! Let’s take the opportunity to thank them and extend a hand. For certain, let’s take care of them when their assignments are done.

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