I was just talking the other day with my dad about the times my younger brother and I headed off for college and when older brother joined the Marines. He was saying how he hadn't been ready for any of us to leave. That for all that he and Mom knew we'd be okay, that God was with us, he hadn't wanted us to go. Nor had Mom. Gave me a glimpse into just how hard parenting is. How difficult to do all you can to make your child into a young man or woman of independence, and they, one day, to have to let them go their own way. I could tell how hard that was for Dad.
And it got me thinking...
What must it be like for parents today whose children are in the military. To know your son or daughter is headed into the path of danger. For some, danger in the extreme. To know this may be the last time you see this child you love more than even you can fathom. The men and women who serve, now and in the past, show great courage and fidelity to their country. But it seems to me there are other warriors right here at home, warriors we don't think of often enough.
Today, every time I see my dad's smile, hear his deep voice, savor his laughter, I'm going to pray for the parents of those who are in harm's way. And right now, I just want to say to that mom or dad whose child is deployed, thank you. Thank you for raising a son or daughter of honor and courage. Thank you for letting them go to do what they feel called to do. God bless you, each and every one. And please know there's someone in Oregon praying that all your sons and daughters return home safe and sound.