Veterans Day

These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:

Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.

Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.

Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them.  But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.

  • 2 Samuel 23:8-12

In the United States, it is Veteran’s Day, November 11.  In many other countries it is Remembrance Day or Armistice Day.  It was first celebrated as the date when World War I ended.  Since Poland gained their independence as a result of the armistice, they celebrate November 11 as Independence Day.

In the photo above, the steel pot atop my two military head covers belonged to my mother’s father, a World War I veteran and the Veteran Administration representative in our county in my youth.  I often visited him after school.  He passed away shortly before my eleventh birthday.

My Dad was in Europe during World War II.  He was a sergeant in the army and escaped capture during the Battle of the Bulge, having delivered a message to Bastogne at the wrong time, but otherwise, he saw little action.  He ran the railroad yards, resupplying the troops.  During the Korean Conflict, he was activated to active duty and taught artillery soldiers in South Carolina, but he was never deployed to Korea.

Of course, in my ancestry, there were a few veterans of the Confederate Army (by law, given full rights as US military veterans).  My father’s mother’s father was wounded at Chickamauga, returned to northern Mississippi to convalesce, married my great-grandmother, then returned to reunite with his unit at Kennesaw Mountain.  He was never part of the first Pickett’s Charge (made up of many Mississippians, from Ole Miss – thus the name, Ole Miss Rebels, since few survived and the survivors wounded), but my great-grandfather was part of the first reenactment.  If you see the original reenactment film, he is the tall man with a fringe of white hair around a bald dome and the well-trimmed white goatee and moustache.

My wife and I celebrate Veterans Day.  She served during Vietnam, stateside, patching up the wounded soldiers as a surgical tech.  I served a few years after Vietnam, in Germany.  We ‘forage’ for free food on Veterans Day.  It irks us to know that some people buy a silly ‘veterans’ cap and pretend, just to get free food.

There is a reason for our displeasure.  Freedom is not free.  It cost many people their lives.  But on this day, we remember the ones who made it back.  Yet, some don’t ever make it fully back.  Our Veterans Administration might get it right occasionally, but there are so many veterans who are homeless, without benefits, and without hope.

We have Hope in Christ.  God is faithful.  He will not let us down.  People and governments let us down.

Notice the Scripture above.  The second half of this chapter of 2 Samuel goes on to identify by name over thirty of King David’s greatest warriors, immortalized for all time in Holy Scripture.  Yet, there are no other veterans’ memorials in the Bible.  I suppose, since King David was a veteran himself, he understood.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

3 Comments

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  1. Thanks to you and your family for your service.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grateful for those who served in your family and you as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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