Memorial Day Message…America Has A Heart Problem

I’m old enough to have grown up hearing stories about WWII.  My father was drafted with a wife and 4 daughters at home and yet he told stories proudly about his time served.   He didn’t whine about being yanked away from his family at a critical time…he did what he did for our Country.   Although he was divinely protected from harm, he returned home a hero right along with 2 of his brothers.  They were thanked for their service not criticized for their “involvement”.  Americans were proud and willing to fight to defend this amazing Country of ours IN SPITE of the fact that (on the average) over 400 Americans died every single day…over 400,000 Americans lost their lives in WWIl.   Incomprehensible.

 Some of our relatives returned home to talk about it….some of them died defending their Country, their families, their freedom and their liberty.  America was united and proud at that time.   Americans rolled up their sleeves and did what they had to do to support our troops.  I have heard time and time again about the celebrations that took place when that war FINALLY ended.  What a glorious time that must have been.   America was energized and prepared to move on to become a stronger union…a united front.  America had a healthy heart.

I’m also old enough to have grown up hearing stories about the war in Vietnam.  Countless brothers and fathers of my friends served in this horrific war under unspeakable conditions.  The draft was in full force and the dodgers were running marathons to avoid the requirement to serve.  On the average 26 American lives were lost each day…almost 60,000 in total.  Unimaginable.

Most Vietnam vets were not warmly welcomed home.  This war had become a political platform and our troops paid the price. They came home to criticism and judgment…protestors spitting insults at them and a Government not prepared to deal with the emotionally and physically wounded warriors and the challenging after effects of this war.  Veterans were made to believe that they weren’t worthy of praise for service.   They were made to feel like traitors for their involvement in spite of the fact that most of them were drafted to serve…like damaged goods for serving the Country that many of us still love.  Unbelievable.   A major sign of a heart problem.

I used to believe that the difference in the attitude of Americans between WWII and Vietnam was that America was under direct threat as part of WWII so most Americans could justify the war while many Americans questioned our involvement in Vietnam in the first place.   Clearly I was wrong.  Our war against terrorism began with a direct threat and the loss of thousands of American lives on U.S. soil and yet there is a never ending flow of judgment about our involvement in this war.   Apparently this isn’t a good enough cause to fight back for many Americans.   I just wonder where we’d be now if America had taken a soft approach to a treacherous attack.

I’m old enough to have a son and son-in-law PROUDLY serving in the United States Air Force.  Nobody forced them to serve…they didn’t join the military because they didn’t have other options or because the unemployment rate is high…they didn’t join with a “shoot ‘em up” attitude.  They joined because they believe America is worth fighting for and they are willing to do their part for our freedom and yet I can’t begin to count the times that someone responded to news of my family in service by saying “I’m so sorry…I’d never let my kid do that”.

I’ve never prayed harder nor have I ever been prouder than I am today and yet my heart breaks for them every time I overhear someone question our involvement or criticize our efforts.    Clearly a sign of a serious heart problem.   Make no mistake about it, each time you have this discussion in the presence of one of our warriors it is like spitting in the face of those who have chosen to serve our Country for all of the right reasons.  Disgusting.

Nobody likes war.  I may not be happy with the current state of affairs or our perplexing political platform but I’m still proud to be an American and I stand behind every brave warrior defending the United States of America.

Yep, America has a heart problem.  Fortunately it’s not an incurable one.  We just need to focus on the problem and seek the appropriate “treatment”.

 Let’s set aside our political platform surrounding this war and say a few kind words to our troops instead of questioning their efforts.    I grew up hearing “if you don’t have something nice to say, keep your mouth shut”.  Sounds like pretty good advice when in the presence of someone willing to die for you and me, don’t you think?

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