I am very proud of my time in the military. I served in the US Navy from 1967-1971. Much of that time was spent on the USS Enterprise. At the time it was the largest warship in the world. I made two tours to Vietnam aboard that ship and would have made at least one more if it had not been scheduled for refueling. Because the Enterprise was nuclear powered it took 18 months to be refueled. After refueling and repairs it was scheduled for trials and then another tour off the coast of Vietnam. I was discharged a couple of months before it left for duty.
The Vietnam period is a black mark on our nation's history. Too many good people died fighting a war they were not allowed to win. Many of them were drafted; they didn't want to be in the military and they certainly didn't want to be in Vietnam. But, at least they didn't run off to Canada or become life-long college students to maintain their draft deferments. When they were called, they answered. When they were sent, they went.
It was shameful the way many of them were treated when they returned home. Instead of their service being appreciated many were spat upon and called horrible names. After having endured the agony of fighting a war they were not allowed to win and seeing their fellow service men and women lose their lives, they had to come home to face a hostile American public. I did not understand it then, and I still do not understand the reactions of Americans to the men and women who wore the uniform during Vietnam.
Our nation has been involved in many wars since its inception. Young men and women have given their lives in each of these wars to preserve the freedoms we enjoy and to make such freedoms possible in other places in the world. Wars are terrible things, but if a nation is not willing to defend its freedoms it will only be a matter of time before some tyrant will come to take those freedoms away. Those who have died defending those freedoms and those who survived the awfulness of war deserve our thanks and appreciation.
One way we can show that appreciation is by continuing to defend the freedoms they fought to provide us. Yes, ISIS is a threat to those freedoms and must be defeated, but I'm not sure that the greater threat to our freedoms isn't found in our own nation. It's found in the politicians and bureaucrats who continually chip away at those freedoms. It's found in the apathy of Americans who care so little about being free that they don't even bother to vote and hold those politicians accountable who would deprive us of those freedoms. It's found in the masses who know more about the contestants on Dancing with the Stars than they know about their government leaders.
If we want to honor our fallen heroes let's have the parades and speeches, but we must do more than that. Let's once again become proud to be Americans. Let's return to the Christian-Judaeo values and ethics that this nation was founded upon. Before the next election we need to become informed voters and hold accountable those who have weakened and divided this nation for their own purposes. It's time to remind the special interest groups that while men and women died to preserve the right to hold your beliefs that does not mean that you also have the right to have those beliefs funded by the majority who are opposed to them. Practice what you will, but do it on your dime, not ours.
But, if we really want to honor those men and women who have died in service to their country we must seek a spiritual revival for this nation. For this to happen we must remember what God said in 2 Chronicles 7: 14, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and heal their land." (NKJV)
Revival won't come because the world repents; it can only come if the church humbles itself and prays and repents. Revival must begin in the church before it can spread to the community and then to the nation. Without such revival I fear for the future of our nation, and if it falls the sacrifices of our service men and women will have been in vain.