Six years ago, I was on the opposite side of the world. I was deployed with the United States Air Force to a remote base. I was far away from my wife, new son, and all my friends. I was on active duty serving as a chaplain.
The activity level was no different from any other day (but they did have a barbecue at the end of the day to commemorate the 4th).
It would have been easy to feel sad that I was away from my family but any sadness was tempered by two things. First, I knew I was headed back home in a few weeks. Second, I had had the chance to get to know many of the men and women deployed with me. While I had been gone for four months, some had been gone for over seven months. Others were also leaving in a few weeks – for Iraq or Afghanistan instead of home. Others still had missed parents in the hospital, children graduating from high school, or the weddings of close friends. And others had family members seriously struggling with them being away.
2009 is no different. We have many armed service personnel located all over the planet. I have a good friend who left yesterday for a deployment. Pray for Chaplain Matt Boyd, and all our service members, who are serving on active duty this 4th of July in deployed locations. Remember their families in your prayers too as they also are serving our nation.
We are blessed by many who serve in distant places and endure much. Let’s not forget them this independence day.