Today is Veteran's Day in the United States. It's the day when we pay our respects formally to our nation's heroes. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran. He is a quiet hero, one who doesn't wear his past or his emotions on his sleeve. He is my hero. Long before I ever knew him, he was in a foreign land ensuring that I, thousands of miles away in New Jersey was safe. Of course he probably wasn't thinking about that at all.
Why is he my hero? Let me tell you. Every time we pass the Central Texas Veteran's Cemetery he salutes the flags that fly at the entrance, the POW/MIA flag, and all the crosses on the graves of those great men and women who served before and after him. He keeps his eyes towards the cemetery and keeps that salute for the distance of the land the cemetery owns. Then he snaps his salute and gets back to whatever he was doing earlier. Our conversations pause as we drive past. I often find that the beauty of this honor he gives the dead veterans brings a tear to my eyes. It is so sweet, so simple, so profound. He doesn't make a big deal of it, he just does it, every time.
When he comes across a soldier in uniform, he always extends his hand and says, "Thanks, man, I appreciate everything you do!" It aways brings a smile to the soldiers. He doesn't have to do that. He could be bitter because of the welcome that Vietnam Vets received compared to now. But he isn't, instead he is grateful that our country has changed to honor those who honor us.
He's my hero because he loves and fears the Lord. He is a warrior in God's Army now. He fights for his children in constant prayer, that they always walk in the way of the Lord, and that they find peace in their hearts and souls, and that they know they can always come to him when they need to. He worries about the battles they fight, and he lives his life so as to arm the Angel Armies with more spiritual strength. He doesn't tell them that he does this, he relies on Jesus to let them know.
He is strong, he is loving, he is my very best friend. Throughout our 30 and a half years together we have fought many battles, some that left us with scars, but they always healed. Why? Because no matter what, he wouldn't give up on me, or on us, because that meant so much to him, and because it was worth his time.
So today, I honor my Veteran husband. I salute you, my love! I thank you for all your sacrifices, and I thank God that He gave you to me! God bless you, Tuck!
"May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed." Psalm 20:4 NIV