May 2, 2011

Thank You to All the Men and Women in the Armed Forces

By Diana Spranger, R.N.
Bettendorf Health Care

The penned phrase, “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” is certainly true. As we listen to what’s happening in our world today, we can be over taken by the negativity quite quickly. I find myself listening to the news of wars that we are involved in around the world. It seems as though each week that passes, we are involved in yet another hostile situation somewhere in the world. I watch newscasts that tell of too many casualties to our soldiers fighting in those remote places in the world, attempting to help those that are in situations of persecution by angry, hostile leaders. I ask myself, “can we fix all of this?”

I have to admit that as the months turn into years, my ears get numb to the casualties. It’s someone else’s son, grandson, or daughter who pays the ultimate sacrifice in the time of war. Most recently I have been forced to look at the situation much closer to home, and it has opened my eyes to many who are fighting every day. We just never even give it a thought. We are so busy “doing life” that we forget that our neighbor has a son or daughter in harms way on a daily basis. My thoughts and prayers changed in the past few week as my nephew, Matthew McIntosh, has been placed in harms way while fighting goes on in Afghanistan. Hours and days pass and there is no word from him sometimes. Then a welcomed call or e-mail surfaces. It comes with much relief. Everyday is filled with anticipation and wonder who the next casuality will be. Of course, our family has joined with Matt’s parents and pray daily and often for his protection and safety and also for those in his platoon.

He’s one of those young men, who made the decision (against his mother and father’s wishes) to join the military. He joined not because of a draft. He joined because he felt a passion about his country. He felt he had an opportunity to serve a Nation (founded on God’s principles) and to defend our freedom. Knowing Matt, this was not a rash decision, but one well thought through carefully. I believe he weighed the pros and cons. I can’t tell you the pride I feel, personally, for Matt and all the other young men and women who make the decision to enlist to serve our great country. Lest we never forget all those who have fought and many who have given their lives. To those, we say “Thanks!”

I trust that one day soon, Matt will be able to read this article and know how proud we all are of his courage and commitment to defend this Nation and me and you, as citizens. Let us not quickly forget those that are in harm’s way daily for our freedom.

Thanks for your commitment, Matt and all the other men and women in our Armed Forces.

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