Thank you, Veterans!

Thank you, Veterans!

By Clayton Adams Veterans Day is this Sunday, 11 November. Thank you Veterans!

Thank you Veterans for your service, generosity and willingness to serve, protect and defend this great nation of people! Veteran, you, your service, sacrifice and spirit are worthy of standing honor.

I had the privilege of growing up on military bases as my father served in the military and was so proud when my wife and I witnessed one of our sons swear into the Air Force. That was a special day as we witnessed about two dozen young people take the oath and make a commitment to serve. There is no calling greater than to serve.

I have conducted hundreds of funerals and many of were for veterans whom were friends and acquaintances. With every funeral for a military servant I think of what Paul wrote in his letter to the Christians in Rome, “Pay to all what is owed to them … respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7).

I remember Doyle, who, grew up in Earle, first serving in the Army and assigned to “cleaning up” one of two cities bombed in Japan at the end of WW II. He came home only to realize that “pickin cotton” had no future so he enlisted in the Navy and served many years retiring from active service. I miss my friend and his wife, Sue, greatly.

Eddie, served in Vietnam with the U. S. Army. Drawing his assignment as a 'point man' on patrol and living to tell of the firefights. God saved Eddie twice; on the battlefield and then spiritually. He has been such a encouragement to me over the years. Thank you Eddie!

Richard, flew in Vietnam, came home safely with a few “close encounters” and then flew for FedEx. Richard is the kind of man that has been changed by God. Richard does all he can to build the Kingdom of God. He lost a finger while on a mission trip to Mexico – after that, I enjoyed watching him play his harmonica as part of the church praise team with part of his finger missing. He is such an encourager and loves people unconditionally.

Joe, having passed away more than a few years ago also served in two branches of the military. He was funny, told great stories of his family from “Tex/Mex” and growing up poor as dirt. His accent was heavy but his humor and smile were enormous.

I conducted the funeral for my friend James. James served in the Korean War and he also served the local churches he attended. When I visited him, all I did was drink his coffee and listen to him. He was a very tall, thin and a soft-spoken man but what a servant he was. My friend “Cotton” was short, kind and generous too. Cotton trained James in the Army. Both men loved their families, church and country. Cotton, isn't that a great nick-name for a man! I miss these two and so many other veterans. George served in war for Vietnam; he gave me a study Bible that I still use. He enjoys riding his motorcycle and loves his family. He carries wounds (as do all who served in war) in his heart and mind. A good man he is and I enjoy his laughter.

Staff Sergeant Adams (my dad) of the 5th RCT, 24th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, served in the Korean War. Surviving Korea he entered into service in the Air Force. He always worked hard and had more than one job because raising a family on an enlisted man's pay was no easy task – still isn't. What a national shame that many military families are on food stamps or other government relief because their pay is low.

I remember the many times I asked my dad for a dollar and he would give me two – he always gave more than he was asked. I think all Veterans give more than what they are asked for. Perhaps the book I cherish the most is a book about the Korean War with my dad's hand written comments indicating where he was and what happened to his unit in the frozen Chosin Reservoir battle. I never will measure up to the ideals I have of my father or who he is and his generosity and kindness for others and that is okay, but, if I can be half of what he is I will have a successful life. I conducted the funeral for a Japanese woman who survived WWII and the bombing of her country, who later moved to America. Her story was fascinating and I am forever thankful for her family allowing me the honor of serving them in a time of need.

Connecting her story to that of so many veterans of WWII has proven to me that no matter where one is from, no matter the color of skin, education, background, some how and in many ways we are very interrelated. We are all cut from the same cloth human, flesh and blood, we have the same struggles and dreams. We all have the same hope – Christ.

Memorial Day is the Day/Weekend we have set aside to honor those men and women who have given and sacrificed their lives in the battles and wars – we'll never know most of them or their stories but we should all revere and honor them for their service and sacrifice.

Veterans Day is the Day/Weekend we have set aside to honor those men and women who have served in war and peacetime. Don't let this special day pass without acknowledging Veterans in some very real way.

Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E- mail him a t claytonpadamslll@ gmail. c om.

‘Time in the Word’