Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Semper Fi

In the days following September 11, our children spent a good deal of time on the phone with us.  At the time we were living in Arizona, while two of them were here in Washington State and one in San Diego.  Like most of us, they were bereaved & baffled, and seemed to take comfort in chatting with the folks.  It was of comfort to us, too.  There is nothing quite like the bonds of family during a time of crisis or chaos.

Our oldest son, Brad, was in the Marines on active duty at the time.  He had been advised he'd be deployed, but he didn't know where, or even what it would entail.  It was top secret.  Even so, he had to pack and prepare, as did his wife and two children; he for his mysterious destination; they for a period without him. 

Within weeks he was gone, and none of us had a clue where he was for some time.  Iraq?  Pakistan? 

In time we learned he was stationed on the inglorious island of Guam - a speck on the map that is little more than a large rock in the Philippine Sea.  There, he and his fellow Marines were commissioned to guard our Southern Pacific shores from who-knew-what; and there he remained for well over a year.

I'm not sure why I'm sharing this other than to say it has been among the many vivid recollections I've had in these days following the 10th anniversary of the horror played out on 9 / 11.   Our son is no more noble than all the others that ramped up to heal this nation then, or now; but he certainly is representative, as is his wife & children.  Sacrifice has new meaning in these contexts; so does duty.   

Hardly a day passes that I don't consider the subject of service in general, and of duty in particular.  Both are the unique privilege of servants. No wonder Jesus linked ministry with duty; living with giving:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and their high officials exercise authority over them.  
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great
among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first 
must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come
to be served, but to serve, 
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  
Matthew 20:26-28

Semper Fi - Shortened by the Marines
(Latin for "Always Faithful")

I love you Brad & Megan!


Alice Lynn Alfred said...

I am so grateful to your son and all the men and women of our military....I was once in the Army for a brief time, and I hated was a difficult life...but it made me so much more grateful for those in active service!! Thank you for sharing ~ lv alice

Maryann said...

I still remember those days following the attack so vividly. Thankful for the service and sacrifice of your son and his family. For our military it's not just a job but a way of life, much is asked of them and their families. We are grateful!

Granny said...

Please thank your son on behalf of our family for his service to our God and our country. Our "future" son-in-law decided during the 9-11 period to give his career to our country as well. And here we are, 10 years later a military family. My heart goes out to the spouses & children who also sacrifice for the call of duty to our country. They serve alongside of their loved ones and are our homefront heroes. A simple "thank you" just doesn't seem enough ... God bless you & your family.

LisaShaw said...

You said it best here: "Hardly a day passes that I don't consider the subject of service in general, and of duty in particular. Both are the unique privilege of servants. No wonder Jesus linked ministry with duty; living with giving..."

Thank you to your handsome son for his service to our country and to his precious wife and children for theirs! Because it takes the entire family to support the military as they serve our country. I did not marry military but my three brothers, cousins and uncles were all military so I know the lifestyle and the commitment to service.

I pray diligently over our military with a heart of appreciation.

Being born and raised in NY and having worked and socialized in the City, what happened on 9/11 penetrated me greatly. I continue to pray for the families who lost loved ones on that day.

Love you!