Joy of Coming Home
After being away from family and friends for any length of time, there is nothing like coming home. Having spent time in foreign countries, I remember the exhilarated feeling I experienced as the airline landed in my country, my state, my city… home! While away, there had been good times, trying times, tiring times but nothing to compare with what our fighting men and women have experienced in Iraq and in Afghanistan. While teaching, my fifth grade class had one- on- one discussions with American veterans and Holocaust survivors. Each told his story. The students listened with great interest; leading one student to say, “ We may be the last generation to see and know these brave WWII veterans.”
In our present day, we have a new set of veterans who will share their stories with their children and grandchildren. Many of them left experiences behind that they wish not to remember. Some lost their buddies. They are now packed up and ready to come home. What do they face stateside? Each will be different, but it could be one of these:
- A new baby
- A change of a different career
- Someone they have decided to marry will get an engagement ring
- The spouse that did not wait.
- The spouse who faithfully waited.
- A big steak, pizza, or American hotdog.
- A ballgame with friends in front of the TV
- A picnic with family
So much to come home to and so much to leave. All the questions:
- What did our time here mean to the people of Iraq?
- How will they do without us?
- Will the government change….will life change once we are gone?
- Will the people left behind have the courage to maintain some of the freedoms they have found?
Our young men deserve our love and attention. Thankfully, there are those who meet them at the airport; thank them for their service; and help them re-connect to the life waiting for them. It is devastating, however, for those who must meet the remains of their loved one, draped in the American flag. They, most of all, need our love and appreciation.
The video below sends our warmest “Welcome Home” to our troops.
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