A few weeks back, I volunteered to help with childcare during the EOD Memorial. Just to fill you in on what this organization does, here is their description from their website.
"The EOD Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the legacy of our fallen EOD Warriors by providing for maintenance and upkeep of the physical memorial at Eglin, AFB, FL, funding and facilitating the annual EOD Memorial Ceremony & Ball, and providing scholarships to family members of active duty, former, retired, and fallen members of the EOD Community."
(You can view the Memorial Wall and all about this organization here)
That rainy morning, as I sat inside the room filled with children and wives of fallen EOD techs, it completely rocked my world. I think the world sees the romantic part of military life. They see YouTube videos of homecomings. They hear the music behind the videos. (All well and good, I'm so guilty of watching and boo hooing over the sweet moments of a soldier seeing his baby for the first time). But what the world doesn't see is that mom making the cross country trip to the Memorial with 3 babies in tow. Having to bring a friend to help with the kids while she holds it together as they call out her sweet husbands name during the ceremony. They don't see her having to go back home to a world of melt downs in the kitchen, of getting those children to school on time, of laying down at night just hoping she doesn't fall asleep too quickly, because that means another day of chaos is about to start.
This morning, during the first moments of church, a Memorial Day video played. Afterwards, the lady with announcements asked all that had lost a loved one in war to stand. I thought I was going to make it through the day holding it together until that moment. Young and old stood. Fathers, mothers, children, sisters, and brothers have been lost. How blessed have I been to never have lost a loved one in war? I sit today and pray for my husband's safety. For protection over his life and his heart now and in the future.
This weekend, I pray you take time out of your day to remember these men and women who have fallen for your freedom. Especially for the families who don't have mommy or daddy coming home. I wanted to squeeze those babies at the Memorial. To take the future pain away from their innocent hearts. One day, the pain will be taken away. Our Savior will take us home. No more tears. As my favorite song says, "O Glorious Day!"
I'm thankful to be around men and women who serve our country this weekend. Tonight, we will be cooking out and have light conversations. But there is respect in all of it. Respect for the fallen ones and their families.
There is no greater love than to lay down ones life for ones friends.