It’s easy to dwell on the negatives of having a loved one serving in the military. But if we only focus on the struggles and stress, our attitudes can turn dark. To fight that, I’ve always kept a list of the things I’m thankful for, even when my son was deployed. Here are 5 that I’d like to share with you:
1) The ease of communication today.
I remember stories from my mom about World War II. They never knew when or if a loved one would return home for a visit. There were no phone calls and even letters were sporadic. Now we have email, Internet messaging and even satellite phones to stay in touch.
2) The ability to ask for help.
As noted above, as a connected society we can easily ask others to pray for a loved one or for our family. We become part of a unified, supportive and loving online community.
3) The public information available.
Often the media coverage is incomplete and sometimes downright incorrect about military developments around the world. But at least we get a glimpse of what’s happening. It’s so easy to look at this as a negative, but there are positive sides to being able to see some of what our loved ones are experiencing so far away.
4) The medical knowledge.
There are times when medicine seems to lag behind needs. But truthfully, we live in a miraculous time. So many of the infections and wounds incurred in battle that were life and death in conflicts years ago, are now treatable.
5) The respect our service men and women receive.
We all know there was a shameful time in our country’s history when those who went to war were labeled murderers and worse. Now, for the most part, our society is able to separate the ignorance of political leadership from the sacrifice and service of those serving in our military.
There are struggles that go along with loving someone in the military. But there is also a sense of pride—of being part of something bigger than ourselves and being connected to someone making a difference in the world. We truly do have a lot to be thankful for.