I cannot put it any better than Army wife Rachel Latham:
I have stood by and seen my husband off to war three times. Three times I have wondered if he would return home. Three times he has stood, along with others, to offer himself in the name of freedom.
I have felt the presence of God push me to my knees in prayer, only to find out later that the timing matched the exact hour of a firefight. I have seen both beauty and fear in those lonely days and nights.
I have stayed awake through the nights, unable to sleep, the reality of my comfortable secure bed paid for at the price of those standing on the front lines.
I have calmed the fears of children, spoken words of strength and comfort into their hearts, when I felt so little in my own heart. A mother’s love can do that- offer what isn’t even always there in order to bring peace to a worried little one.
I have felt the joy of the return, knowing how so much has changed, but eternally grateful for the opportunity to learn each other again. Not everyone is allowed this, and I do not take it for granted.
The war doesn’t leave and I have seen the burden carried by our vets as they recall those moments- the fights, the fears, the victories and the losses. I see them standing at monuments, a vacant look in their eyes as they remember, as their fingers drag along the discovery of a name on the monument. They can’t forget, and neither should we, the price that was paid.
I have seen the veterans in the hospital, seen the camaraderie that spans the generations of war…bonds that only those who have lived through could understand. I could never understand, not really, but that isn’t what I have been called to do. I can, however, be thankful.
I have seen and felt the thrashing in the night, of memories that will remain forever, relived only in nightmares.
I remember through this how precious our freedom is, how without those who have chosen to serve, we would have nothing. That freedom we enjoy is paid with this price. It isn’t paid only once though, but repeatedly by those who willingly serve.