Memorial Day 2015

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“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.” — Aaron Kilbourn

Sacrifice is hard to comprehend and even harder to forget.

Our family knows only too well the ultimate sacrifice paid by those brave soldiers who answer the call to fight and defend our country but are killed in action. It is our obligation to honor and remember those we have lost today because they have truly done something that most of us would never consider and the cost was their lives.

Today, I honor Ray Joseph Hutchinson who was one of the finest young men and our nephew. I will add his Mother’s email signature at the bottom of this post. It has been over 11 years since Ray was killed in Iraq and yet it seems as if it occurred only moments ago. Some losses are hard to forget.

Remember today is more than a holiday. It is a day of remembrance and an opportunity to thank God for those brave enough to protect us.

I am sorrowful yet grateful.

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“Oh, my son! What an honor to be your mother…”
SPC Ray Joseph Hutchinson 101’st Airborne Screaming Eagles
2/502 Killed in Action December 7, 2003 Mosul, Iraq
~A TRUE HERO RESTS IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD~

Veterans Day – Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor

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“I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.” John 13:34

Veteran’s Day 2014

My father didn’t start talking about his war experiences until late in his life. I think he didn’t want to burden us with difficult memories but eventually opened up and I’m so glad he did. What a testimony to his family of a life well lived.

My Dad was a POW in Nazi Germany for many years after his B-17 was shot down during a military raid. While I think this experience had a profound effect on him, I don’t think it changed him at the core.

My father loved people. My father loved his family. My father really loved Jesus.

Dad led by example and he told the story of walking through deep snow with the frail and aged Nazi guards who were too weak to carry their own weapons. So Dad and the other soldiers carried their guns. They were not required to do so, they did it to help.

I have always found this story to be one of the most striking of my father’s war memories. Dad’s faith in Jesus never wavered and even in the worst of circumstances, he would use an opportunity to share the love of Christ with ANYONE.

On this Veterans Day, I thank Dad for his courage. I thank Dad for his loving heart. I thank Dad for teaching me about Jesus. Dad said that he survived the war through his belief that Jesus was standing beside him and giving him the strength to return home. I believe this and I am grateful to God.

I am sure my Dad is not the first soldier to have Jesus hold his hand and he won’t be the last. I wish this were not so. If we could only truly love our neighbors…

Peace.

Memorial Day

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I rarely go on a rant about anything but there is one thing bothering me today. There is no such thing as a HAPPY Memorial Day.

I dislike when I see people tweet, facebook or post “happy” greetings on Memorial Day. It’s not a happy day for those who have lost loved ones in service to their country. It is quite the reverse.

But having said that…I appreciate Memorial Day. I appreciate people remembering. The loss of a precious family member is a daily battle with sorrow for some and loving memories are what remains.

Please remember…but remember with reverence, respect and gratitude. We shouldn’t have to lose so many to save us all. Having said that, I am certain our heavenly Father knows this feeling all too well.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13