WOW! It has been 20 years since I served in the United States Navy. Time flies when your having fun I guess.
This Veterans Day I have stopped and reflected on my 4 years of service. I used to feel funny when at sporting events or at other venues they honored Veterans. I used to think to myself “I went in because I had no direction in life and I would receive money for college, why would anybody honor that?” It wasn’t until recent years that I have had a change of heart. As I look at my kids and reflect that my service was a small piece of a larger pie to secure the freedoms we and they have today. I was also a punk kid going in. Coming out, I was a little bit less of a punk – maybe a punk that learned responsibility. 🙂 Whatever it was, I grew up while in the Navy.
I would also say, that if it wasn’t for enlisting in the Navy, I would have never found Jesus Christ. I still have the bible I was given in Boot Camp on my desk. In the back, I signed and dated the day I decided to follow Jesus. Now I still lived the life of a sailor because I had no discipleship in my life. Because of this, Christ has taught me the value of followers being connected into the Body of Jesus (the local church). Ever since I came home from the Navy, I have always been connected to a church by regular attendance and connection. I am grateful that The Lord used my time in the Navy to teach me this.
So yes, the Navy taught me sacrifice. First and foremost the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for me and you. Also, the sacrifice of serving. I only had a tiny little job, but it contributed to the larger picture of freedom. Sacrifice and service that finds you in places in the world that you could not have imagined for the sole purpose to protect the freedom of others. So to all my fiends who are Veterans, thank you for your service and sacrifice!
The Navy also taught me the value of community. Serving alongside of others for a common cause, brings you closer to each other. We had our differences, but we worked through them and pressed on. The friendships and relationships that started those 4 years of my life continue to this day. Because of Facebook, we are able to connect with more ease no matter where any of us are on this globe. That is very cool. So, to all my shipmates… thank you for your friendship and service!