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Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal

Ready, Willing, And Honored To Serve

Paul Schneidmill

America is the greatest country in the history of the world, bar none, period, point blank.

Despite our inestimable flaws and shortcomings, like the fact that we lead the world in every major negative cause and effect issue such as abortion crime, divorce, drug use/abuse, imprisonment, murder, sexually transmitted diseases, single-parent households, and suicide (just to name a few), most folk who don't live here, want to.

Think about this:

How many Americans are you remotely aware of, who wish to renounce their citizenship and go become a citizen of another country, like the people from other lands who desire to live here?

That's because we here in the good ol' U.S. of A, enjoy a freedom that surpasses any other nation on earth. A freedom that didn't come cheap by any slightest stretch of the imagination.

Many Americans have no real appreciation, frame of reference, or understanding regarding how that freedom was paid for, and is yet being maintained.

Our nation's freedom was purchased by the shed blood and sacrificed lives of the Soldiers of our Armed Forces.

In the necessary defense of any country or nation the Soldier is sworn to protect; diplomacy, haggling, and reasoning over differences, have already been exhausted when the Soldier is called upon to perform his duties. Lots of people see Soldiers in a negative view (they're gruff, overbearing, rigid, etc.), but when there is a conflict that threatens the peace and safety of our comfortable way of life, folk don't care what kind of "character flaws" soldiers have, as long as they do the job they're expected to do.

Throughout the history of this nation, Soldiers have deployed to distant lands and shed their blood and given their lives in numerous campaigns to keep this country free. Free from aggression and proposed dominance of opposing lands. The America we know and enjoy was founded on the issue of freedom, initially in the area of worshipping the God of the Bible. That freedom was won during the Revolutionary War because some Soldiers, who started out as ordinary men, were ready, willing, and honored to serve.

We are enjoying that initial freedom and what it has evolved into today.

Soldiers have "held the line" of defense for this country through 2 World Wars and numerous campaigns and conflicts that have impacted our nation, and not allowed one single outside aggression to come upon our shores. Yet, when the smoke and the smell of cordite is cleared and the cries of agony from the bodies of the Soldiers who suffered loss on the field of battle or were brutalized in captivity is silenced and our weekend barbecue goes on as scheduled, the Soldier is no longer appreciated or needed and is removed from public view.

A great deal of people celebrate the 4th of July every year by shooting of fireworks, never knowing what Francis Scott Key meant when he penned the words, "...and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air..." I experienced part-time patriotism all around me during the Desert Shield/Desert Storm conflict by people who all of a sudden, wanted to salute a flag that I saluted daily. I didn't need a conflict to become patriotic because I knew what the colors of our flag represented, I knew the significance of the seven red and six white stripes and the placement of the fifty stars; the four rows of five and the five rows of six, on a field of blue.

Scripture shows that all throughout the Bible, God called and used soldiers. Some that come to mind are Joshua, Gideon, David the king, and the Roman Centurion. The Apostle Paul spent a great deal of time with the Soldiers of Rome and as he witnessed to them about Christ, he also learned aspects of the character of the Soldier that he was able to translate into beautiful illustrations relative to serving God (see Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 15:58; Ephesians 6:11-17; 1 Timothy 6:12 and 2 Timothy 2:3-4;4:7).

Jesus also characterizes and epitomizes the heart of a Soldier, both in the Old and New Testament (see Joshua 5:13-15; Psalm 24:8; Mark 11:7-10 and Revelation 19:11-16) and He's my current and ultimate Commander in Chief.

I've been blessed to have had the privilege to serve my country in the uniformed services, for almost 21 years and though I never saw combat, I'm grateful for the many sacrifices made by Soldiers who distinguished themselves throughout history, to keep this country free. I pray that America, whom God who has shed His grace on, will one day as a whole nation, recognize why this country has been free and remains free to this day, and will always (not just on Veterans Day) appreciate the Soldiers who were ready, willing, and honored to serve.

© Paul Schneidmill