Monday, May 16


With all of the uproar surrounding the news of Osama Bin Laden's death, and all of the coverage that mentioned the Navy Seals who so bravely faced danger for our nation's benefit, I was reminded of something that occurred two years ago.

Our family went to a beach here in Guate for a little R&R. We were blessed by friends to stay at a lovely resort and just relax for a few days. One night, we went to the hotel's restaurant for the buffet dinner and noticed a table full of American men near us. Now. My husband graduated from the Air Force Academy and spent several years as an AF officer, so he can pretty much spot a military man or woman from 80 paces. He knew immediately that these men were military.

We didn't see them again until the day we checked out. They happened to be checking out at the same time, and Steve approached them. He made small talk and mentioned that he'd been in the Air Force. True to military form, they ribbed him and told him they were sorry he'd been in that particular branch and then told him they were in Guatemala for some training. There was more small talk, during which they revealed nothing specific about their training, and, at the end of our time in the lobby, Steve thanked them for their service to our country. It was then that one of the guys really opened up and told us that, indeed, their duty had cost them each greatly. He told us that most, if not all, of the men in his group were divorced or nearly divorced. He explained that they were gone from their families for most of the year.

It was a very sobering reminder of just how much our military sacrifices for us. And a reminder that the United States, despite all of the flaws that are constantly pointed out to us by the talking heads on TV, is a country that has always been known as a country willing to sacrifice for the greater good.

There is nothing like living in another country to give you perspective on just how unique America is. We are willing to fight for those who don't have a voice, to defend the weak, to pursue justice to its end....sometimes to a fault....and why? Because sometimes individual people sacrifice their rights and, often even their lives for the greater good.

It has taken living in a "survival-driven" society, a society in which people have been taught to look out for themselves, a society in which daily needs like food and a place to sleep are very real worries to teach me just how blessed we as Americans are.

But working for the greater good isn't merely an option or a nice choice for us:

"Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." Phil 2:4 NLT

I am so thankful for the United States, so thankful for a heritage we have of sacrificing for others. And hopeful that we will never take it for granted again.