Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanks to our Veterans

I grew up in the post-Vietnam era. Until the brief display of power from the US military in the first Gulf War, I never really knew a time of close military conflict for our country. There were clashes we were involved with here and there, but in far off lands - places I couldn't name and certainly couldn't locate on a map. Growing up in Tidewater, I had lots of friends who's parents were in the military, but none of them were in battle anywhere (that I knew about, anyway). I knew that people had fought in WWI and WWII and Korea but nobody really talked much about it. And when I was a kid, it seemed like we had a gag order on Vietnam. Bringing it up alway brought an anxious tension in the room. I didn't know it then, but our country was trying to figure out how to deal with the emotions of Vietnam.

But the older I've gotten, the more aware I've become of the price American soldiers have played to ensure our freedom and our prosperity. My Dad fought in Vietnam. He has a Purple Heart for a massive injury to his leg when he stepped on a landmine. It should have killed him. It should have at least taken his leg. Miraculously, my dad walks today. Sometimes we talk a little about that war and his experience there. It must have been beyond words. I've read books on WWII - my Grandad served there in the Army.

And I have a friend from Powhatan who has fought in Bosnia and Iraq. Suffering from PTSD, he talks of his experience with great effort to find the right words and to keep from breaking down.

And our Powhatan Campus Pastor - Chauncey Starkey - is a veteran. A retired Air Force Sergeant, Chauncey served away from his family several times. He's helped me to see the sacrifice our soldiers make.

There are many people in our community who pay or have paid a very high price for us - they are all around - ordinary folks doing an extraordinary thing.

I've often said that God is bigger than nationality. He loves our country, but God is not an American.

But I sure am thankful that I am.

Thanks to ever Veteran who has served us. Today, we solute you!

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