Honoring Our Troops

We attended our town's local Veteran's Day parade today. I always get kind of emotional thinking about the immense sacrifice so many have made for my freedom. It's hard to know how to express a gratitude as deep as this. Honestly, I don't know how. But I do know that actions speak louder than words, and so I will try with my actions to show the gratefulness I can not utter. There's quite a few military charities doing good things for our veterans. We can all choose to be part of these demonstrations of gratitude. Here are two organizations, dear to my heart, that serve our injured military members.

The first is Sew Much Comfort. Sew Much Comfort has been adapting clothing for injured military members since 2004. You can read the story of how this great project started, here. These qualified seamstresses (who are all volunteers) are so good at what they do. I've seen lots of articles of their adapted clothing at their distribution center. When you hold up a shirt, you would never know that one whole side (or every side sometimes) can Velcro apart and shut for ease of dressing after an injury. It's hard to imagine going to war, and coming back with a life-changing injury, but the Department of Defense estimates that over 48,000 American troops are facing this reality after serving abroad since 9/11/2011. It's not just the lives of those 48,000 that are forever altered, it's whole families. I feel that we as Americans owe it to our brave military members to give them as much honor and respect upon their homecoming as possible. I believe that starts with the dignity of being able to feel normal in their clothes. Sew Much Comfort adapts regular clothing to fit the new needs and challenges those injured heros now face. You can donate to providing these clothes for free to injured military members at Sew Much Comfort's website, here

The second organization I mentioned earlier this fall, it's a ministry of Samaritan's Purse, called Operation Heal Our Patriots. This is a beautiful retreat center on the banks of Lake Clark in Alaska. Injured military members and their spouses are invited to come and enjoy a time of rest and rejuvenation.

photo from samaritanspurse.org
Samaritan's Purse provides the airfare, private cabin, meals, outdoor activities, and workshops for these couples to reconnect after some of the most stressful and difficult weeks/months/years of their lives. As I said before, I can't imagine the challenges of dealing with a serious injury or loss of limb. Although our heros are resilient, and many will work hard in rehab to recapture the ability to walk or use prosthetics, I love that the focus of Operation Heal Our Patriots is spiritual, emotional, and relational healing. These are the things I feel get so easily overlooked when a family goes through the crisis of a serious injury.
I love the pic below, and I think it just shows how hard Samaritan's Purse works to make this an incredible experience for these deserving couples, from start to finish.

As couples arrive in Port Alsworth, Alaska, our staff, volunteers, and local residents gather at the gravel airstrip to give guests a hardy patriot’s welcome. For many injured troops, this is the first time they have received such a public show of support and thanks.
photo from samaritanspurse.org
"As couples arrive in Port Alsworth, Alaska, Samaritan's Purse staff, volunteers, and local residents gather at the gravel airstrip to give guests a hardy patriot’s welcome. For many injured troops, this is the first time they have received such a public show of support and thanks."
You can donate to providing this amazing experience to military couples at Samaritan's Purse, here.

I don't know how you spent your day, but I hope somewhere, somehow you were able to express gratitude to a veteran, or current military member. We owe them so much, and the opportunities to show our gratitude are everywhere. Donating to one of these deserving charities would be awesome, but if you can't maybe you can help the mom next door, when she's single parenting over a long deployment, or send a Christmas package to a deployed service member. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and wouldn't it be great to kick off the season of Thanksgiving by demonstrating our gratitude for those who have given so much to our country?

Thank you to all who have served with honor.
Happy Veteran's Day!


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