I’ve been through 59 Veteran’s Days in my life and I can’t remember ever truly thinking of my dad as one of “them.” My dad wasn’t jumping out of a carrier on D-day, he wasn’t part of the brave forces on Iwo Jima, and he never fought in battle -at least not the kind the military is famous for.
You see, Dad was a Chaplain’s Assistant. I can see the sneer growing just under the surface -“a what?” That’s right, he served on “different fronts.” And not very many chaplains have been the focus of ticker-tape parades. In fact, news in recent months indicates that military chaplains (at least of the Christian faith) may be an endangered species. It is almost as though there are forces at work to eliminate this “non-essential” dimension of our military might.
On this sacred day of remembrance, look for the unsung heroes, the behind-the-scenes folks without whom our whole armed forces would be rendered impotent. Thank God, especially, for those devoted men and women who shepherd the grieving, lonely, confused, and often injured soldiers.