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Pastor Otten: Thank you veterans for your service to the nation

By Pastor David Otten
Faith Lutheran Church, Eldorado
updated: 11/9/2017 2:17 PM

Greetings from Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado.

Happy birthday to all Marines. You are 242 years old on Nov. 10. And to all of our veterans, thank you for your service to our beloved nation.

It is truly good, right and proper that we thank these men and women who served in the military forces. Not only do we give them our personal thanks, but, on Veterans Day, "we the people" recognize and thank our veterans in public ceremonies, by flying the flag, formal statements and the like.

Through their sacrifices and determination, veterans have guaranteed the freedoms we cherish and defended our Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. Their families have also carried a burden, as they have waited for their service members to return home, keeping the home fires burning.

Many of our veterans discovered when they joined the military in their youth what it was to be an adult with adult responsibilities. They learned endurance, developed both physical and inner strength, and grew to give respect, even to those with whom they disagreed. Discipline was instilled in them for the sake of the mission and those who counted on them.

At our military balls, I have seen a maturing, where men and women learn what it is to be ladies and gentlemen. When a comrade dies, they don't show up at the funeral in their best T-shirt, but in uniform or clothing befitting the occasion.

God was also working through these men and women, even those who claimed atheism. God uses all of our vocations to work for a society that maintains peace and dignity for others. The military vocation is no different. Here, the task is a strong defense for our society. At times, it means the use of deadly force, but never in a reckless or selfish way. There are bad guys out there who seek our nation's downfall as we have seen both here and around the world. They display their hatred and savagery as they have killed indiscriminately. They have not chosen to resolve differences in a peaceful manner, but have chosen violence, and their targets too often have been unarmed civilians, including children.

It is godly to take up arms against those who threaten our nation with such violence and destruction. That is also why I give thanks for our police, firefighters and others who likewise dedicate themselves to the well-being of our nation.

I encourage you to join with others in your community to thank those who served, and pray for those still struggling with physical, spiritual and emotional wounds.

Pray also for those who are still in uniform that they may never lack the honor, courage and commitment to carry out the mission given to them in times of peace or war.

God bless our veterans and their families.