Sunday, August 5, 2012

Welcome Home Soldier - We Salute You!

Sometimes the way God orchestrates events to come to pass is just astounding to me.  I've been a Christian for 18 years and it still just amazes me how God's always working behind the scenes, so to speak.  Allow me to tell you a little story that made me think of this recently.

Growing up in a military town as I did, military life was just the way of life for most people. By that I mean, homecomings, being deployed, getting re-stationed, families coming, families going away, military weddings, military funerals and holidays like Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day being monumental events that were celebrated community wide.  As I kid (and even as a young adult) I never really gave it any thought, it's just the way it was.  It wasn't until I was in my 20s and moved to California the first time to a non-military town that I realized how different local culture really was, from what I was used to.

I'm not sure how old I was, maybe around 10 or 11, the first time I remember hearing the adults talking about the "shameful" way the military were treated when they came home from Viet Nam, but I remember it being a pretty big topic of discussion. At that age not only did I not really understand, but most of the adults tended to change the subject when kids were around so I never really knew the details, as a child.  What I do remember about it was that it was that era, that part of American history that first caused me to feel a genuine sense of gratitude for our US soldiers.  At that age I probably didn't think about it for longer than a few minutes whenever it came up, but the one thing I do remember about it was it always made me feel like I wished I could do something to make it right.  My sense of patriotism and support for our troops was given a real booster shot at that age and it's stayed with me ever since.

Now we fast forward 35+ years.  Just a few days ago I was given the opportunity to design some fun new products in store, those being yard/lawn signs.  I posted about it the other day, but what I didn't post about yet (because I hadn't created them yet) was that with this new product one of my first thoughts was "oh my goodness, FINALLY, I can do something to make it right!"  That's right, I immediately remembered that helpless feeling I had at 10 years old, whenever I heard about the horrible treatment our soldiers received when they arrived back on US soil.  Finally, my chance to make some kind of contribution, some kind of tangible effort to show my gratitude for our military.  If, in some small way, I can help be a part of celebrating their bravery, then I feel like I've at least given back. I know in the grand scheme of things it's pretty small potatoes when it comes to God's divine orchestration, but I'm hugely thankful for it all the same.

Brand new in store as of today, Military Welcome Home signs.  Here are a few examples, but you can see the whole line here (some styles may not be viewable yet, as zazzle only indexes new product once a day, and I've been adding all day long!):