Throughout the year, a different remembrance or celebration is held for the military each month. November is no exception. We remember and celebrate the veterans that have selflessly served and protected the United States. We also celebrate and remember the creation of the Marine Corps. But there is another remembrance in November, one that is unlike the others. In November, we also look at others who have made a great sacrifice for this nation, some of whom never volunteered to make such a sacrifice. We honor those who are often overlooked, yet are a key part of the military but do not wear a uniform. They are the families of servicemen and women.
Military families face unique struggles. Yes, like all families, they must deal with traditional family struggles – aging parents, family disputes, family deaths, holiday parties, and everyday events – in addition to the worries that come from having a member of the family in the military. But it also means that the family is often without a key member when facing these family struggles. This places added pressure and stress on those who have been left behind. It means a mom or dad trying to fulfill two roles so that children do not miss out. It means a parent not being present for a child’s important event/performance/game. And it means missing out on milestones, a loss the entire family feels.
Military families also face other struggles and challenges: frequent moves, constant worry, multiple and long periods of separation, limited contact, and lack of knowledge regarding the whereabouts and safety of their loved one(s). All military personnel and their family should be respected and honored for the sacrifices they make.
Unfortunately, many Americans no longer give the military and their families the respect they deserve. Families of the military do not wear uniforms, making it easy to hear the insults, jeers, and disrespecting remarks made by ignorant (and sometimes not-so-ignorant) Americans. Americans who take advantage of the freedoms they have by disrespecting the very people who have ensured they have that freedom.
This November, remember the families who stand behind and support the men and women fighting to keep America safe. If you are a family member, we at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, Inc. thank you for your help and support. If you are not a family member, consider how you could show your support for the military and/or their families.
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