Memory day

I’ll never forget when my son gave me this flag. At that moment the weight of what was happening fell on me: my son was going to war in Afghanistan…and this would hang in my window until he came home.

It’s somewhat peculiar that stints overseas are often nine months long. Though my pregnancy for Josh was nine months and TWO weeks, that period of waiting seemed much shorter than the season of waiting until he came home.

Every day I prayed for my son’s life, as well as his fiance’s, as she was also serving in another part of Afghanistan at the same time.

Every week I wrote out my prayer requests on the communication card at church and asked my small group to pray as well.

Every month I submitted their names in other prayer groups to which I belong.

Four men from his unit died within the first few weeks of being there–three of them officers, which he was as well.

I had always thought the happiest days of my life were the days my four children were born…but I’ve got to say that seeing my son walk into the celebration room at Fort Riley, Kansas, that day just over four years ago . . . well, let’s just say I was a screaming, crying, happy mess, along with hundreds of other family members.

You’ve seen the videos of the happy reunions. It’s like that times TEN when you’re the service member or the family member–not just the one watching the video.

I am thankful for all of my family members who have served in the military: my dad, Bob Holm; my husband, Craig; my son, Joshua; my brother-in-law, Kenton and his two sons; my nephew, Mark; uncles long gone now. I thank God they were able to finish their terms and go home to family.

Many have not. To their families who are reminded not just today but every day of their absence, I say thank you for their service and your sacrifice. My heart hurts today for you. May the Lord bless and keep you.

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