FORT MONROE, Va. (Army News
Service, Nov. 23, 2005) –- Thanksgiving is a special time for our
nation. We remember our forefathers’ journey to a new land – seeking
freedom from persecution, finding a country that presented the
opportunity for peace and a fruitful future -- for which we give
thanks this time of year.
We also celebrate our military families this time of year during
National Military Family Week. Many –- more than a quarter of a
million people –- face this holiday without their loved ones. Their
loved ones have traveled to a strange land.
They battle loneliness and have answered our country’s call to serve
and bring that seed of hope to another nation. They are alone, working
to band with their brothers, to survive … to bring hope … to one day
It is sometimes difficult to remain aware of the sacrifice of military
families. But it is our duty as citizens, as caring humans, to carry
the lamp and recognize the meaning of duty and celebrate, embrace and
support all those who answer the call.
So many families in our nation will sit across from an empty chair
while we enjoy our feasts. Their table will be quieter than ours.
Their hearts heavier. They will carry worries we do not share – but
can remember. For we can give thanks for their service and pray for
the safety of their loved ones until they return.
We give thanks and remember that each day we awaken rested, we
remember those who pray for one night’s sleep without nightmares. We
give thanks that for each step we take with our legs, there are those
who have sacrificed their mobility. We give thanks that for each
vision we see, every time we are able to look at our loved ones, we
have the ability to revel in their joy.
Most of all, we give thanks that we are blessed. Blessed to be a part
of a nation that is so prosperous. Blessed that we have our families
and shelter and food.
We are also blessed to have the ability to pray for the strength and
courage to maintain awareness of our brother’s sacrifice – to give to
our community in any way we can, as they are giving in service to
their call. This is our duty: to give thanks … to pray … to remember.
(ARNews Editor’s note: Caroline Peabody is president of
the Military Family Network, based in Hampton, Va. The Military Family
Network, www.emilitary.org, is a community network helping military
families get connected with each other and organizations in their
communities. This article was first posted by the TRADOC News