SALUTE

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SALUTE (noun): a gesture of respect, homage, or polite recognition or acknowledgment, especially one made to or by a person when arriving or departing.

 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

~ John 15:13  

 

Today, I honor the sacrifice of those who served before and those who serve alongside me. Salute to my team! My military fam past and present! Salute to the most feared fraternal family on the planet! Irrespective of branch, you are all  my brothers and sisters-in-arms! 

 

Oft times as a relatively “young”(< 5 yrs TIS) service member, I am overwhelmingly humbled to a fault when out in public and people say the familiar phrase “Thank You for your service!”  During my first year in the Air Force, I stumbled over how to accurately respond to this expression of endearing gratitude.

 

Who me? Yeah you! Thank you. Um…ok, you’re welcome….many times my hesitancy came from the newness of my military journey. How is that I’ve done anything, I haven’t bore the battle, yet…or have I?

 

Even as a newly commissioned officer, my humility still hadn’t caught up to the magnitude of what lies ahead of me. All I know is the right here and now. Still adjusting to receiving the time-honored SALUTE from my fellow Airmen.

 

 Then it hit me, my WHY! The reason for WHY I serve. The legacy of courage and valor I represent and stand on each and every time I put on my uniform and lace up my boots. Those in my family who paved the way. I think about the future. The legacy my sacrifice will leave behind for future generations years after I’m no longer walking this earth.

 

To my family members who have served. 1 Million Salutes could not replace how full my heart is to be able to stand with you on this day. It is because of your hard work and sacrifice in decades past, across all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that I am able to become the woman I am today. Thank you for being guiding lights, solid rocks, and a foundation and cornerstone of big brothers and sisters-in-arms throughout my military life journey and before it ever began. Whether you knew it or not I’ve always admired each and everyone of you, your hard work and dedication to something bigger than yourself while building a life for your family that’s even greater.

 

I SALUTE You….. Happy Veteran’s Day!

 

To date; I’m no war hero! I don’t wear a Purple Heart; or been a P.O.W. lost and now found.

Or have I?

In God’s eyes, I have as a believer. Just like the day I raised my right hand and vowed to give my life for my country, I made a very similar vow as a youth, because I once was a prisoner of a spiritual war, and was once lost and then found.

The day I asked Christ into my heart enlisted me in God’s mission for the rest of my life.  A mission of service and redemption. A soul-winning mission for a spiritual war that still goes on today. Fortunate for me, I fight on the winning team. I fight from the Win, not for the Win, because no greater love has one than that of Christ, who laid down His life so that I could live! He chose the nails and I chose the nails as well. When I made the decision to lay down my life to serve as a believer at home, in my church, on my job, in my local community and abroad on mission trips. I chose the nails.

As a service member, I chose the nails when we gave my oath, not once, but twice to lay down my life to defend and protect my country, my friends, my family, and my neighbors. With each commitment, I told God and mankind that on this day, I chose the nails. To pin my wants and needs on the Cross and follow wherever the mission may lead me.

To all who did the same before me…

I SALUTE your Courage and Strength!

Thank you for running your leg of the race before me. I am honored to carry the legacy onward.

While I have not begun to apprehend all that is ahead of me, brothers and sisters, one thing I do: forgetting that which is behind me[in my life], [nailing it to the Cross] and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the mark to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

And for those still in the fight alongside me, let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us, throwing off everything that hinders and  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3).

 

I SALUTE YOU…Happy Veteran’s Day

 

Until next time….

 

Write from the Heart,

{Just Being} Candice Maria

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