John 15:12-14 New International Version (NIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends
On Memorial Day we honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice protecting the United States. While we honor those who died in combat, let’s not forget those who died in a different theater, the battlefield of home. According to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, in 2016, 6079 veterans committed suicide. The reasons why the suicide rate among Veterans is so much higher than the national average are complex. PTSD, the stress of transitioning from combat to civilian life, opioid addiction, and isolation are some of the issues the VA is addressing, but much more needs to be done to identify at risk veterans and insure they have access to the care they need. There is one area that I feel is overlooked and needs to be addressed. That is the kind of society our Veterans are coming home to.
The military send troops all over the world to stop the spread of tyranny where it lives, to keep it from our shores. After sacrificing precious time away from their families, and sometimes health and limbs, our heroes come home to a nation which has lost its moral compass. The evils they were sent to fight, Communism, tyrannical dictatorships, radical Islam, are not only accepted, but openly embraced by academia, journalists, the entertainment industry, and even some of those elected to Congress. Is it any wonder that returning Veterans feel hopeless and despondent? While the ubiquitous “thank you for your service” and “we support our troops” are everywhere, and it’s nice to be appreciated, these platitudes seem hollow when uttered by a people who have no real understanding of the ideals our Veterans were sent to defend.
Academia dishonors the fallen when it teaches revisionist history instead of the true intent of our founders. Journalists dishonor the fallen when they paint a one-sided anti-American version of events. The entertainment industry dishonors the fallen when it works to shape society by promoting a Leftist agenda, leaving the other side without a voice. We dishonor the fallen when we accept a globalist world view that denigrates American Exceptionalism. We fail to educate ourselves and our children about the Constitution, and the proper role of government, and then we elect representatives and leaders who merely say what we want to hear.
The day we can truly honor the fallen, is not the last Monday in May, it is that Tuesday in November when we can choose to elect representatives who understand our Founding Documents, will uphold the Constitution, and will champion individual liberty over the will of the masses and their own desire for power. Those brave heroes who died battling the horrors of war, overseas and at home, they did their duty, now it’s time we did ours.
This Mother’s Day, I am reflecting on my childhood. I was blessed to be raised by a stay at home mom. This wasn’t just a circumstance she found herself in, for her it was a career choice. Make no mistake, being a stay at home mom and managing a household is a career. My mom taught me some practical life skills, how to sew on a button, scrub dishes, balance a checkbook, pay bills. But it was the attitudes she instilled in me that made me the woman I am today.
My mom was involved in our lives. She was an active volunteer at school. At least once a week she could be found assisting wherever needed on campus. She didn’t just do this for the opportunity to socialize with other adults, she did it to have a voice in what was being taught. She knew, even all those years ago, that schools were quickly becoming indoctrination centers for Socialist ideology and that by being in the trenches she might have an influence. She shared this reasoning with us, and it has inspired my political activism. At one time, she was on the executive committee of four different PTAs, elementary school, middle school, high school, and the South Texas district. She wasn’t just a helper, she took charge. I’ve seen her lay out the agenda for meetings, and preside over them. She planned fundraisers, and even coordinated a parade for the entire school district. She understood the impact this had on our upbringing. Let me tell you, when all the teachers and principals know your mom, when all the kids at school know your mom, when all the other moms know your mom, and everything you do at school WILL get back to your mom, you WILL behave. This fact encouraged me to be involved with my own children’s activities, and not just me, my sister and brother were also active in the schooling and interests of their children.
My mom is courageous. Twice she battled breast cancer and won. She always stayed active and kept an upbeat and positive attitude, which her doctors credited to her healing. She managed this even when undergoing grueling rounds of chemotherapy, surgery, and painful radiation. I know there must have been times when in the solitude of her thoughts she must have prayed “why me G-d?” but she walked as a victor, not a victim. She put herself in G-d’s hands and submitted to His will. She had cancer; cancer didn’t have her.
Above all else, my mom is a faithful woman. Not just to my father, which in itself is a wonderful example of the beauty of marriage, but to her Heavenly Father. My mom is not a “cultural Christian”. She earnestly believes in the power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen her fervent prayers and I’ve seen her prayers answered. And even when they weren’t answered in the way she hoped, she still had faith that it was for the best. Her steadfast belief has encouraged and inspired my own, and I still call on her to pray with me when I need that extra support.
My mom is the epitome of the true Texan Woman. A woman who is always in her element. Whether she is helping build a fence, straddling a goat while she vaccinates it, or wearing an evening gown, dining in an elegant restaurant.
So, this Mother’s Day I wanted my mom to know just how much I value her example. An example that is desperately needed in today’s world. She set the bar high. I hope I’ve managed to live up to it.