By Marsha M. Brown
COURAGE…no matter which decade…what topic of dissention, regardless of the era, conflict, or battle…courage is the essence of the matter. Whether ‘back in the day’…or up into the minute…hard decisions have had to be made time and time again on our nation’s behalf…throughout our history…decisions that weren’t easy nor always popular were made…and what it took to make them was courage…a lot of courage.
Whether an embrace among family members on the eve of deployment; or a passionate kiss of goodbye between lovers minutes before boarding a ship or a plane…or a wave from the dock between football buddies…our men and women have faced deployment not knowing their fate and in each case it all came down to…courage. They haven’t known for sure if they would ever come home…or if their body would even look and function the same when they did…or if their spouse or significant other left behind would stay true to them and wait faithfully for their return no matter the span of time…and accept them once they met again unconditionally…or if their kids would draw close when they saw them again…or painfully withdraw even for a brief moment having forgotten the face they had missed. From the newest enlistee to our Armed Forces to the most celebrated senior veteran in every military branch difficult decisions have been made by all of them…decisions that were at times supported by the masses…but sometimes not so much…nonetheless…more than not…those decisions…those calculated risks…were heavy, and the guts and glory of all of our veterans and active duty service men and women I celebrate this 4th of July, 2015.
The Independence Day we celebrate this year I hope rings loud and clear to our very core; I hope that we look upon it as more than fireworks and picnics…but rather that we consider the sounds of the bang, the boom and the earth shaking blasts are not for fun for a lot of Americans paying each day for our opportunity to celebrate.
Please don’t take what we have for granted…please don’t be complacent about our status quo for this world is changing…rapidly. Who would have ever thought that homeowners would be challenged for erecting an American flag on their own front yard or their front porch railings? Who would have thought that stone or masonry statutes of the Ten Commandments or crosses would be so absolutely irritating to a fellow American citizen (or group thereof) that they would go to the lengths of filing a law suit to see its demise? Who would have thought that saying a word, a phrase, speaking about your faith, eating salt on your plate of food in a restaurant, smoking a cigarette smoke in your own home away from the world would instigate scrutiny, or a fine etc.? Who? Who would have believed that our military cannot freely participate in services to honor our veterans etc. within the confines of a church or during a church service? Have we all gone mad? Have we lost ourselves in ‘political correctness’ to the point of no return? I was a child a long time ago…why should I be challenged as an adult at every turn? Please tell me this is a nightmare that I will wake up from…please say “it ain’t so”…dear God what have we done?
In the last week I have finally seen the movie “American Sniper” and for those of you who haven’t, I recommend it. The DVD is now on sale in stores and in the movie rental boxes. Yes…there is some offensive language…but we all know life offers adjectives and pew-ie words unfortunately often…but I saw passed that and focused on the heart of the matter; a veteran who loved his brothers…a veteran who was saddened and troubled by the tasks he had to perform in order to protect and defend and I was moved by the fact that Chris Kyle’s skill and proficiency afforded him the hand he was dealt…to take lives in order to save lives. I considered what a preacher said not long ago…about how God allows things in our lives for a reason.
Another program touched me too. It featured a segment about a military Mom who had served our nation as did her husband and as all four of her children (3 sons & 1 daughter) do now…serving in four branches: U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force & Marine Corps. and about her faith in God, her prayers for their safety, her pride in America and her desire to see her sons and daughter learn all they can in order to protect their lives and the lives of others…’man oh man’! Courage folks…it’s all about courage. That Mom has taught her children from the time they were little to love our flag, protect it, honor it and celebrate it from the very core of their being. I applaud her.
Throughout June one program…one testimony after another from veterans who have lost their legs, arms…sometimes both…their sight, their vision and their ability to perform simple tasks never regretting their service to our country…even with the body and mind pains they suffer today…they moved me, they made me cry…they made me wish they never shed another tear because they did what they HAD to do. I am so proud of them…I am so humbled by them. This Independence Day I will thank God again and again for our veterans…each and every one.
If you would like to enjoy a very special array of music and talent PLEASE consider attending the 8th Annual Musical Celebration of Independence Day this Sunday, July 5th at the Outer Banks Presbyterian Church, 907 S. Croatan Hwy., Kill Devil Hills 27948 at MP 8.5. The theme of the event is “Let Freedom Ring” Patriotic Concert and there will be two presentations, the first at 4:00 PM and the second at 7:00 PM in order to accommodate so many attendees…please don’t miss it! Their church family has gone to great lengths to show our veterans, their family members and friends true American spirit. You will be inspired and entertained by the Sanctuary Choir, the Youth Group, the Jubilate Handbells, Presentation of Colors by the American Legion Fort Raleigh Post 26 Color Guard and…there will also be a musical drama too! This inspiring production will be at NO CHARGE either for the event itself or for the nursery that will be provided, however a love offering may be accepted.
On this July 4th weekend, 2015 thank you to all of our veterans and their families! We are and will always be forever in your debt!
Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud…you live in the greatest country on earth. And if we can be of help to you or a veteran you know, please call us: me (252) 202-2058. God bless you all!