Something My Daddy Taught Me

My daddy was a chief petty officer in the US Navy. One of my earliest memories was sitting in our living room watching the POW's return from Vietnam. I can remember watching the men walk down the steps from the plane on the runway. It was the first time I ever saw my dad cry. He watched as his close friends walked off that plane. Frail but alive. That moment in time is engraved in my heart. It was the first time I ever remember feeling anything towards my country or the military that serve us. I was 5 years old.

I also remember holding back giggles as I stood "at attention" by my bedroom door ready for inspection of my room by my daddy. I'd salute as he came by ready to see if my room passed or if there was more to do. I remember him talking to me as if I were in the military and the voice he'd use that was so commanding. It's a quality he had that I'd lean on later in life when in his last days he could barely speak.

Tonight, after spending a great evening at the movies with our grandchildren and 17 year old, we walked in to the lobby area to see the reports on the TV that Bin Laden had been killed. We didn't know what to say and immediately started looking up on our phones to see what other reports said. It was true, and on the drive home we listened as our president announced the death of "public enemy number one".

My heart immediately filled up with emotion and it continues as I hear reports with commentaries and the opinions of others on our president's speech. But the truth is, there are lives that have been lost or that will never be the same because of this war we are in. I was free to go to the movies without fear of harm tonight because of these amazing military men and women. If they weren't willing to risk their lives for us, I could possibly be risking mine by going to church every week. My freedom is extremely valuable and precious to me. My freedom in Christ is what I live for every single day. This is not about me, it's about my Lord and Savior and what He has done to give me freedom to live and be who He created me to be. But the freedom of and in my country is given to me by those that fight for it. Not the elected officials that stand before the cameras but by those serving us in the battles going on in other countries.

I remember that feeling of being a little girl and watching those men walk off that plane. And I think of that often when around those men and women who have been injured or have returned from a tour of duty. Thank you doesn't express the feeling in my heart of knowing exactly what it means for them to do what they do for us an for our country. They not only serve for their loved ones, but they serve for so many of us that they don't and may never know. Yet, the still do it and do it with honor.

In my heart I will go to bed tonight thankful that I am safe and walk in freedom in an amazing country because of those who fight for me. In the same way, I am thankful for the freedom in my soul because of the battle my Lord fought and won so many years ago.

Am I rejoicing over the death of a lost soul? I can't bring myself to do that. I've read many articles on one side or the other of that debate, and for me personally I am sad that one more soul was lost to THE enemy. But, I am a proud American thankful for my freedom as my Daddy raised me to be.


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