Last fall we had a soccer game down at Fort Carson and wound up weaving through the streets of stereotypical military townhouses to reach the field.
As we drove past it looked like the scene in so many movies where the car pulls up outside a small military residence and men in uniform get out and walk up to the door to inform the wife that her husband won't be returning home.
On the way to that soccer game, I felt a knife dig through my heart as I pictured that same scene playing out on the streets we were driving down.
A few weeks later I was talking with an Army wife at Ian's gym.
She spoke of the sickness in her gut that came when she saw those cars drive down the street.
How each wife would peer out her window and pray to God that the car wouldn't stop in front of their house.
But, it always had to stop.
It was the worst when it was someone she knew.
On the way home that night I cried again.
Because I can't imagine the horror, and yet it happens.
In my town.
Spouses find out... children find out... that their husband, their wife, their father, their mother won't be coming home again.
On this Memorial Day I again have that scene playing in my head. I can see the rows of houses on those streets I drove down. And there are again tears in my eyes.
I think of the freedoms that I have...that my children have... because our soldiers were willing to give their lives.
I think of the Iraqi and Afghan people that, despite what media reports tell us, have the hope for a new lease on freedom and life because our soldiers were willing to give their lives.
I think of the Jewish people that survived because our soldiers were willing to give their lives.
I think of the slaves that were freed because our soldiers were willing to give their lives.
I think of our country... founded on God... freed from an oppressive, controlling government because our soldiers were willing to give their lives.
Because a soldier isn't simply someone in uniform.
Anyone can put on a uniform.
A soldier is one who marches forward, knowing the risk, but keeping on because what they are fighting for is greater than that risk.
And I again have tears in my eyes because I am thankful.
To those soldiers. To their families.
For they have ultimately given what they hoped not to, but were willing to.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends