By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist
I would like to say thank you to our military veterans.
In a time of national crisis you have always given your all. Your lives have been interrupted. You have been separated from your loved ones. Who among us can know your pain, your loneliness and your willingness to fight for freedom?
You have your life before you, yet you aren’t thinking of that. You think of protecting those you love, the country you love and the freedom you love.
I’m proud of my husband when he stops to thank you. When he sees you in a uniform he makes a point to tell you how much he appreciates what you do. You see he has been there too. He knows first hand the hardships you endure.
Forgive those of us who complain or take you for granted. It seems human nature doesn’t really appreciate something until it is taken away. If any one of us had to go overseas to defend this beloved land and see the conditions you are under, we would be mighty glad to be back on American soil.
When I think of the tyranny dictators have imposed on innocent people with brutality, cruelty and misery I am even more thankful for you and I want you to know it.
I want you to know there are prayer warriors here who build a hedge, standing in the gap for you. We build walls of love around you and those walls surround you with sincere care and concern. These “prayer walls” keep positive affirmations coming your way and we send them to you with love.
In times of turmoil we realize how desperately we need you. Our prayers are motivated by love and patriotism. We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with an enemy whose mission is to steal, kill and destroy. In all the wars on this planet, you and the veterans, have not spared your own life. A simple “thank you” seems so small.
With heartfelt thanks from the bottom of our hearts we appreciate and thank you.
I am moved to pray this prayer for all our service people:
“Please keep our military safe. Keep their loved ones and families in your loving care. May our love and prayers surround them with firm affirmations of strength and strong faith. May all of us be quick to express our gratitude to every military member. May we never take them for granted.
“Bless them in every facet of their lives. Give your angels charge over them. Help them to hide beneath your wings. Give them the peace that passes all understanding. Grant them wisdom. Guard each step they take and may their feet be as hinds feet, to walk upon the high places of the earth.
“May they see the love and support of Americans as they fight for our freedom. Please bestow peace on those loved ones at home. Send comfort and assurance for the many sacrifices their families make. May all of us remember the high price of freedom.
“Help us to give back to America the dedication our veterans and military give to us. May those of us at home be positive and upbeat, sending our troops encouragement, words that build up, demonstrating we are not moved by setbacks and circumstances, but send forth the “shield of faith” that is in us. May the power of our prayers follow and pursue them wherever they may be and bring them home to their loved ones. In that name above all names, Jesus. Amen.”
I salute you. You are not guided by selfishness. You are guided by a conscience that sets aside personal desires for our nation as a whole. You strive to do right for God and country. You love America and what it stands for. You are my heroes.
Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is: