When you think of the 4th of July what comes to mind? Probably fireworks, BBQs, maybe camping or boating. That’s what used to come to mind to me as well. Now that I have been a military spouse for over 6 years, and especially now that my husband is deployed, everything has changed in my mind about holidays like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and the 4th of July. Now these holidays aren’t just an extra day off of work or some good food, they are true celebrations and sober reminders for me.
Have you ever cried during the national anthem? I did for the first time during my brother’s recent college graduation. The sacrifice that my husband and his brother are both making for our country right now made tears roll down my eyes. I’ve never felt more proud of being an American, but at the same time for the very first time I understand the true cost of it. It’s easy to say, “Oh yes, that must be hard” or “oh I couldn’t stand it”. But you don’t really *get it* until you’re the one making the sacrifice.
My challenge to you is to take holidays that are associated with the military and make them mean something to you. Reach out to those around you in the military and see how you can help. You can involve your children and even come up with a new holiday tradition! Some ideas would be to find a deployed service member and send them a handmade card or even a goodie box. Holidays are especially hard for service members as they try to celebrate away from family. If you don’t know of anyone in your church or community who is deployed you can use services such as A Cup of Joe for Joe that sends a cup of gormet coffee to a deployed service member.
In celebrating and remembering a great way to reach out is to try to help a deployed or underway service members family. I think that we are often the forgotten ones as most people don’t realize just how difficult life at home is. Especially in families with children, holidays are especially hard and painful. Inviting a military family to your holiday celebration or sending *them* a goodie box would be such a blessing!
Happy 4th of July and God Bless America!
Copyright © Nicole Elliott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved