From Mark M. (Contractor, Age 55)

Marine's Prayer

 

I REFUSE TO BE DISCOURAGED

I refuse to be discouraged,
To be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted,
And here’s the reason why…

I have a God who’s mighty,
Who’s sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me,
And I am on His team.

He is all-wise and powerful,
Jesus is His name;
Though everything is changeable,
My God remains the same,

My God knows all that’s happening;
Beginning to the end,
His presence is my comfort,
He is my dearest friend.

When sickness comes to weaken me,
To bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God;
Into His arms I go.

When circumstances threaten
To rob me from my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast,
Where all my strivings cease.

And when my heart melts within me,
And weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms,
He soothes my heart and soul.

The great “I AM” is with me,
My life is in His hand,
The “Son of God” is my hope,
It’s in His strength I stand.

I refuse to be defeated,
My eyes are on my God
He has promised to be with me,
As through this life I trod.

I’m looking past all my circumstances,
To Heaven’s throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God,
I’m resting in His love.

I give God thanks in everything,
My eyes are on His face;
The battle’s His, the victory’s mine;
He’ll help me win the race.

Written By BJ George, But “Inspired By Our Lord Jesus Christ”
Copyright@ BJ George

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From Kirk S. (Business Owner, Age 57)

I wish I could find a stronger word that describes the true meaning of “sacrifice”, as it relates to what you gave: most notably the time away from your family and loved ones, watching your kids grow up in front of your eyes, waking up to peaceful serenity and just enjoying some of the small and basic enjoyments in life that many of us take for granted.

Many of you risked your lives every day in areas around the world protecting us from the true evil that still exists. You all define the simple words most of us really don’t deserve to use in comparison to how you use them: words like honor, integrity, leadership, dignity and dedication.

I have a wife and two kids (which are two Huskies). Our lives are comfortable and precious – thanks to you! Your selfless service is greatly appreciated and respected. We owe you our deepest gratitude.

For the very Freedom you provide – Thank you!

Kirk S.

 

Kirk

 

From Blase G. (student, age 10)

I am thankful for the troops because they defend our country. They are willing to sacrifice their life for American citizens . When I am old enough, I want to be a weapons maker and designer. That sounds like a good career.  This would help Marines while doing something I enjoy.  I want to help them succeed in defeating the enemies of America.

From Betty S. (Great Grandmother, age 80+)

To our servicemen and women,

It’s hard to express how grateful we are for all you are did in defending our country.  As a former Navy wife, I know the anguish your family and friends went through until your safe return. There is also so very much pride!

We fly our American flag daily.  You will never be forgotten.

Betty

We fly our flag every day!
We fly our flag every day!

From Barry T. (Retired Toolmaker, age 67)

A salute to all our troops,

Here’s one American who is behind you all the way.

This is a quote from Jeff Cooper of Gunsite fame, that I think may be relevant to those of you who served or are currently serving in hot zones.

“Having been mildly annoyed by the commonplace salutation, “Have a nice day!” for some years now, we were delighted recently when, after filling our tank and taking our money, our local friendly fuel dealer waved at us and said, “Shoot straight!” We intend to adopt that expression, and we hope that our friends will too.”

This ‘Shoot Straight’ may also replace the admonition to ‘Be Careful’.

I offer this in memory of my dad Carl, who had been there and done that in WW II.

Carl in Oran N

With all the respect you deserve,

God bless our troops!

Barry T.

From Tina C. (Nail Technician, age 32)

My parents came to America because of the war.  They had to plan and slip away quietly.  In those days, you weren’t allowed to leave Vietnam.  If the government found out, they would put you in jail so they had to do it in secret.  They left everything.  One night they quietly went down to the river to a boat.  The boat took them to another island and then from there they came to America.  They wanted a better future for themselves and for me and my brother.  Education was important to them.  My father became a citizen and I became a citizen about two years ago.

The day I became a citizen I was very excited.  I wasn’t nervous because I know American history.  Some people were nervous but not me.  I had a lot of knowledge and I studied.  When I was sworn in they played a song, The Star-Spangled Banner.  It made me cry because I was happy and proud.

I think our troops are like heroes.  They protect us and they keep us safe. They work very hard but very quietly.  We thank them for helping us, for everything they do for us.

Who will protect America if we don’t have them?

Photo to come...
Photo to come…

 

From Sage W. (Student, age 16)

To our troops,

“The greatest glory of a free-born people is to pass that freedom on to their children.”  (William Havard)

When the Founding Fathers created our nation they envisioned freedom for American citizens.  Thanks in large part to our troops their vision of a free America has stood the test of time.  It’s endured through the years, allowing the individual liberties Americans are blessed with.

Your hard work has allowed me to inherit a great nation.  I see you as role models for selfless acts, bravery and honor.  Thank you.

Sage

S.W.

From Stephen G. (Oil Field Engineer, age 46)

To the Soldier,

I am not a man gifted with great words.  I am an oil field engineer.  In this capacity, I have had the blessing to work with many, many people more talented than I.  I have found success not only through absolute perseverance and work ethic, but also leveraging the knowledge put forth by others.  I soon learned, I do not have to create everything in the world, I simply have to use what is already at hand.

When I found out about this project, I could not help but contribute.  As usual, I played to my strengths and found words from folks more talented than I.

President Reagan once said, “Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.”  To me, “noblest aspirations” can also mean “Great”.  “Great” and its cousin “Greatness” do not come from doing the average or expected.  As we tell our kids, good grades, not getting into trouble, doing household chores, is not “great”.  It is nice and wonderful and much better than the alternative, but in and of itself does not define “Greatness”.

What does Greatness mean? How do you define it? To me, to go above and beyond the expected is as simple as it gets.  The Bible has some verses worth remembering: John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  …and Philippians 2:3-4:  “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Martin Luther King reminded us that “Not everyone can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service.”

Clearly, giving of oneself – VOLUNTEERING for the service of this country which has been the strongest champion of good in the history of mankind, is truly “Greatness” and as such, deserves undying gratitude particularly from those of us who have not volunteered.  Part of my success and happiness is because of you and those who came before you. As you are much more aware than I, that greatness has come at a cost. When I think of how fortunate I am, I can’t help but weigh the gravity of what our warriors risk.

…but there is a horizon.  There is a better tomorrow; both in this world and the next – as a result of your efforts. As the Bible says in the book of Revelation 21:4:  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Good luck to you all and may God bless you and your families.

S.G.

From Lynn C. (Academic Editor For A Research University)

Thoughts About Veterans Day

I recently told a friend that I don’t need any sort of special day to remember our veterans.  I told him I carry gratitude in my heart every single day.  I’m delighted that there is a day of national recognition however.  It focuses people’s attention and hopefully the public celebration leaves some lingering appreciation in the hearts of American citizens regarding what it means to serve…what it means to be willing to offer yourself up to something bigger than the preservation/protection of a single life (your own).

It’s that willingness that I so admire and appreciate.  All through American history good men have stepped forward, giving of their time, their comfort, their peace of mind and potentially their lives as payment for the price of freedom.  They are who stands between darkness and our ability to live out the credo “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

In absolute terms they are the treasure of our country.  They are where the wealth of America springs from.  That’s not an exaggeration.  Without them, America is just a lovely idea that could never really be.  From the sailor who stands in the cold scraping and painting the ship for the hundredth time, to the administrative assistant, to the cook, to the pilot, to the special operator – every single one of them is deserving of our thanks and praise.

God bless our troops, our veterans and God bless America!

me

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door. (Irish Blessing)