A Marine

Sep 21, 2010

I've always said that I support our troops. 
I've always shed a tear after hearing stories of war. 
I've always loved songs about a soldier's heart.
I've always had chills when our national anthem was sung and hundreds, if not thousands, stood to honor that flag. 
I've stood with my hand over my heart and mindlessly quoted, "one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all". 

But until my sister married a United States Marine, and until I stood and watched as hundreds of Marines hugged the neck of their wife, children, mother, father, brother, sister, friend before loading single-file on a bus and eventually boarding a plane for Afghanistan, I didn't really know what patriotism was. 

I don't think I've been so overwhelmed by so many different emotions than the day we spent saying goodbye. My heart broke for what was breaking my sister's heart. She was watching her husband slowly prepare to leave for seven months. I felt anger that they had to leave. I felt proud that they have dedicated their life to our freedom.

Tears slid down my cheeks as I watched a young boy wrap his arms around the neck of his father and shed tears of fear and sadness. 
I watched husband and wife exchange a silent look that said what they could not find words to say.  I watched a pregnant young wife say goodbye to her husband who would miss the birth of his first child.

I watched mothers feel helpless as their sons, complete with gear, gun, and bullets, joined in line.
I saw the rows and rows of packs that would accompany these Marines for the next seven months. 
 I saw my sister cling to her husband, wishing she could somehow make him stay.
I watched a brother's goodbye. 
I watched, silently sobbing, as they boarded the buses. I watched as families comforted one another. 

Their battle started when they landed on foreign soil. The battle for the ones left behind started when those buses pulled out of sight.

Patriotism stirred me in a different way through this experience. Knowing personally someone who is overseas gives a person a completely different outlook on what it means to support the troops. 
I have realized that although I may have different opinions on the war, my heart has a new perspective that allows me to remain proud of the men and women who are willing to risk their lives for our freedom and honored that I am able to support and pray for them. 

Please remain vigilant in prayer for our troops and their families. 

P.S. All photos courtesy of Lisa Gunter Photography and are not to be copied or reproduced without proper authorization.


  1. Beautiful post . Thank you for reminding me to pray today for those who are on the front lines for us. May God bring your brother in law home safely.

  2. I am here from Windy Poplars and am so glad I am. Our soldiers and their families are in my prayers always. Thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute and thanks to your sister and brother in law. Blessings.