He snapped to attention with a salute. This veteran of World War II and Korea knew the sacrifice paid for the freedoms we enjoy in this country. This was my father’s reaction every time the U.S. flag was presented, or the national anthem was sung.
I did not know the horrors of war that he experienced. The only comment he made was that “There were no atheists in fox holes.”
My father loved his country and was proud to have served. He respected military personnel and often commented about how a person spoke distinctly, showed respect or how their posture reflected their training. He would say, “That person was in the military, I can tell by their demeanor.”
While my father’s military experience was cause for honor and respect his life after war was less than stellar. He struggled with an alcohol addiction. Always employed he provided for his family financially. He loved his wife and family; however, he caused much pain. He was mean when he drank and we were all afraid of him.
Many times I wondered why my mother did not leave him because of the struggles she experienced. She also loved and respected him for the man she knew him to be, not the drunk that caused such havoc.
Because of his family background my father also had a respect for God and His church. Our family was one of those who went to church only on Easter and Christmas. Dad always wore his Army dress uniform and mom made sure my brother, sister and I had new clothes to wear. Mom did not go. I found out years later the reason she did not attend with us. There were no funds left for her to purchase clothes for herself.
After years of abuse, conflict and shame my father surrendered his addiction to alcohol. He attended Alcoholics Anonymous and became a different person. The last fourteen years of his life he and my mother experienced a good life. Mother no longer lived on pins and needles fearful that he would be set off and go on a drinking binge and end up in jail.
They enjoyed traveling around the country camping in their little Scottie Trailer. Volunteering at the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) they were able to show respect and honor to those who served their country.
My father also surrender his life to God a few years before he died. He did not attend church but God in his mercy accepted him just where he was. My husband was privileged to lead him to the Lord.
When my father died he received military honors, a gun salute and taps was played.
If you have ever attended a funeral where taps is played you know the chill thatgoes over your body as you hear that sound. Dad would have been honored at the salutes of the military present. They showed respect and honor.
Please show respect and honor to those who are serving or have served in our military. We do not know the things they experienced or the nightmares they still struggle with. Many deal with physical disabilities but it is the unseen issues that many times cause the most damage.
Just as military personnel are recognized for their training Christians should demonstrate the qualities of their relationship with Christ.
- Do people know we are a Christ follower by observing our lives?
- Can people tell from our demeanor that we love and respect God?
- Does our speech, our respect for others and our posture reflect our training in God’s Word?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20New (International Version NIV)
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.
Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Proverbs 31:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
I Peter 2:17 Living Bible (TLB)
17 Show respect for everyone. Love Christians everywhere. Fear God and honor the government.