Dedicated to my father: Max E. Baker,
WW II Veteran (9/24/24 – 2/11/01)
Memorial Day and the 4th of July always make me more aware of our military warriors and the sacrifices they have made for all of us. We are closing down active war fronts and bringing these courageous men and women home, completely changed as war-weary souls.
These men and women were asked to enter combat zones to kill, defend and protect America and to try to make sense of destruction, trauma and death. Day and night they saw evil and sin abound around them. As a result, they will likely have severe emotional, physical, and spiritual battles ahead of them.
Many will return without limbs, with combat stress, traumatic brain injury, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, adjustment disorders, depression, panic attacks, Acute Stress Disorder, substance abuse disorders, while feeling suicidal, alone and misunderstood. The consequences of maintaining a war-ready posture are both far reaching and nerve wracking.
Having opposed the war, the angry side of society will not welcome these very warriors home. Anti-war sentiment can cause normally caring Christian people to turn their backs on these souls. I am asking you to join me in putting aside all biases, prejudices, and opinions and in reaching out with Christian love and care to these amazing men and women.
Ways to Show You Care:
- Pray for them and their families
- Help them to see the larger story of God’s grace and forgiveness
- Especially, sit and listen to them, encouraging them to ‘give it a voice’
- Affirm their spirit and bravery
- Offer them comfort and caring in the form of profound compassion and patience
- Pray with them and let them know you are daily praying for their healing
- Offer special comfort to the caregivers as they too experience secondary trauma
- Help these families with childcare for a few hours
- Give baked goods or a home cooked meal
- Offer to give them a ride somewhere
- Take them to church or a Bible study.
Comfort the widows and orphans. The Bible makes it very clear that we are to care for the widows and orphans in our communities and, I believe even more so, of grieving survivors.
Adopt a soldier, family, widow or orphan. Make them your special new family. We can be agents of hope, healing, and help. Be a brave soldier and strength for them. Remind them that God touches the broken, restores the feeble and tired, and raises back into new life those who are the walking wounded.
Thank you, dear Soldiers, for your brave and faithful service to God and country. And thank you that you may be the reminder for all of us to return to our Christian core values of hope, love, service, grace and peace.