This is my healing journal.

Monday, November 12, 2007

To serve one's country and one's God

Veterans Day yesterday at church was special. First James had all the Veterans and all those who served in the military stand up to be acknowledged. Then, he had all the men come up and sing "Holy Holy Holy" as a group.

As I listened, I thought all of us who had served the military at home, while they were off fighting in the different wars that were represented. My heart swelled with pride, as I thought of my years of service and how my Father, (a navy man in World War II) told me he was proud of me for serving my country in a way that on one else in my family would have done.

From 1991, until 1995, I was a Red Crosser. I signed on during Desert Storm. I think I called to be interviewed as a volunteer, three days after the air war began. That's really no surprise to me that I signed up then, because we as a nation were inundated with presse confrences, war footage, reports of Bob Simon being captured while reporting, Israel being attacked by Iraq in retaliation, and one woman in our church crying repeatedly for her husband who was serving in the Army.

I remembered when I interviewed, they first had me sign up to be a receptionist for the health and safety branch, which I did until I left that particular Red Cross chapter in Kalamazoo in 1992. But, my heart was elsewhere. I wanted to serve the men and their families. How could taking calls about First Aid classes do that? Plus, I thought with my social work background, I would be needed there. But, that was God's way of telling me to be patient.

Two weeks later, I interviewed with Evelyn for the Community Services branch. Well, serving the community was a closer step right? But, as Evelyn listened to me, she told me that she thought I could serve them better elsewhere and then went to get Phil Ackerman.

Phil was the head of the service to military families branch. He took one look at me, and he told me that he knew I could do the job, because he had known a woman who was a social work student with him in college who was also blind. I knew whom he spoke of, as I had heard of Marcie Couch for years.

I started serving in the office for a time. But, Phil noticed that other workers either out front or in the office with me, were not really utilizing me. So, when Terri said she needed me another day in the health and safety branch, Phil suggested I could be an overnight sub and work the overnight shift. He thought this would be more than possible that I could do a good job at that.

My first couple of shifts, I had a couple of community emergency service calls and probably one services to military family call per night. Then, came a night in mid June, early July, when the overnight person could not serve, and there were tornado warnings all over the county. Phil told me he really needed me to cover, and I agreed to do so. That night, I covered five community emergency service calls and four service to military families calls.

shortly after that, one of the volunteers quit and moved out of the area. Phil gave me the shift, and I averaged at least one to three military family calls a night. Plus, I worked as the weekend sub and often had two to three calls per weekend.

I was the one family members cursed, because I had to call them to tell them often that there might be a delay in getting their service person home. I was also the one who was blest, because I was there to comfort them when they needed someone to give them an ear. They would yell at me, if they did not have their service person's proper APO or fPO codes, social scecurity number, rank etc.

I was the one doctors hated to have call, because they found it increasingly difficult to have to say whether a person should come home or not. But, I never gave up.

The answering service people whoo had to patch calls into me often, told me that they never could understand why it was I was so calm about the calls when I received them, compared to some of the other volunteers. I told them, it was my duty to my country.

When I moved to South Haven in 1992, I continued serving as a Red Crosser, often having to stay up four to eight hours a night working on one or two cases. I'll never forget the family who called with two brothers to contact. They thanked me for listening for being there and for helping, when I called the next morning to see how they were doing. I'll never forget the distraught family I had to call on Thanksgiving Day, because they needed to get a nephew home. I'll never forget the case of a military person's uncle committing suicide. He made the choice not to go home. But, he asked that someone tell his Dad to call him, when he could think straight enough to do so.

I have not served here in Jackson for the Red Cross. However, it was not for lack of trying. I was just not needed.

What a look back, I thought as the men were still singing. I then thought about how we can still serve our country and our God by our prayers continually for our troops, and how we as soldiers in God's army should do the same for each other.

Men and women of faith, never forget that your prayers are serevice to your contry and to your God.


  • At June 11, 2013 at 8:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message
    home a little bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog.
    A great read. I will certainly be back.

    my webpage - mouse click the next web page

  • At June 11, 2013 at 9:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think this is one of the most vital information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really great : D.
    Good job, cheers

    Stop by my blog - human growth hormone

  • At June 12, 2013 at 3:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi to every one, the contents existing at this web page are actually amazing
    for people experience, well, keep up the good work fellows.

    Feel free to surf to my page: visit home page

  • At June 12, 2013 at 3:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey I am so grateful I found your site, I really found you
    by accident, while I was looking on Bing for something
    else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a marvelous post and a all
    round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I
    don't have time to read it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the superb job.

    my weblog :: http://www.domainnameforum.com/userinfo.php?uid=82197 **

  • At June 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think the admin of this site is in fact working hard for his
    web page, for the reason that here every material is quality based information.

    My page :: please click the up coming document - -

  • At June 13, 2013 at 1:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    If you are going for finest contents like I do, only visit this website everyday since it
    gives quality contents, thanks

    Feel free to surf to my web site: antapocha **

  • At June 13, 2013 at 3:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.

    Brief but very accurate information… Many thanks for
    sharing this one. A must read post!

    Feel free to visit my webpage :: just click the up coming document

  • At June 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    certainly like your website but you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts.

    Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to
    inform the reality on the other hand I'll surely come back again.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog: How to make Steroids

  • At June 9, 2014 at 9:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What's up Dear, are you in fact visiting this web page on a regular basis, if so then you will without doubt obtain nice know-how.

    Also visit my homepage June 13 (clubtickets.mobi)

  • At June 18, 2014 at 6:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Magnificent web site. Plenty of helpful info here.
    I'm sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious.
    And naturally, thanks for your sweat!

    My web-site ... compagnie Demenagement Martin

  • At August 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Ϝor those whoo choose a far more cultural multiplayer gambling encounter Minds
    օr Spades іs corrct for you. Easily got real creative imagination sso faг ass
    design iis concerned, Ӏ'defense агe the one buildfing
    up thе themes. These kinds of severɑl cards contaіn spider solitaire, freecell spidser solitaire solitaire, chart
    spider solitaire solitaire, ɑnd Klondike spider solitaire solitaire ѡhich iѕ peгhaps the most wеll kown ɑnd in addition played.

    Μy website - spider solitaire download


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home