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Nov 10, 2015 | The Rev. Janice Jones

Veterans Day Reflection

The Rev. Janice Jones is rector of St. Christopher’s, Killeen, a parish, which is next door to one of the largest military installations in the world. Fort Hood is a 340 square mile installation (217,337 acres), and is the only post in the United States capable of stationing and training two Armored Divisions. Named for Confederate General John Bell Hood, it was established in 1942 to test and train with World War II tank destroyers. Today, Fort Hood has nearly 65,000 soldiers and family members. The following is Jones’ reflection on her congregation to mark this Veteran’s Day.

 

So, “What is a vet?” I asked.

 

“A vet,” I heard, “is someone who has put on the uniform and, even for a day, stood side by side with a fellow soldier and said, ‘I’ve got your back.’”

 

Active, retired, moved on, through so many types and places of service, a vet is one who has answered the call to service for country. He looks like the West Point cadet, class of 1950-something, voice un-failing in Sunday’s hymns. She looks like the quiet colonel (ret.), unfaltering in her service even now to those who can use her heart and skills. He looks like the young dad, juggling the love of a wife and children, his soldiers, and a commander. She looks beautiful in 5-inch heels with the voice of an angel – when she is not learning to rappel from helicopters. He may look like one struggling deeply with wounds in war. She looks like a leader in our children’s education. And he looks like the husband, hearing once again that he may leave his sweet beloved for one more year in a faraway land.

 

So many people – so much heart –  so many lives and every one with its stories. Faces spanning our generations and those before us. So many names, so much strength, so much life – so much courage. Add to that the families and more surrounding each vet and we have a powerful force. The realization? It is a tremendous force for peace and care of one another and the world. What else would we expect than hope and prayer and work for peace from those who put their own lives and futures between all they love and that which would destroy?

 

Today – on this single day – we stop to thank our vets and pray with and for them, and for families who serve with them every day. God’s blessings and peace, with a prayer that every day, we may all turn to the other and say, “I’ve got your back!”

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