This photo represents the hearts and souls of some of my biggest heroes. If you knew me, you would know it is rare that I hold someone in such high esteem that they could reach Hero status. To me, every person is someone’s hero, yet every person is fallible. We are human, and it comes with the territory.

However, the very idea that a stranger could knowingly and willingly offer their life for me, yet not even know my name, much less have ever seen my face, strikes me to the very core of my own heart. I personally only know the name of One who offered. Yet on a daily basis, there are many, who are not Jesus, who lay this same beautiful gift at my feet. These Heroes go by the name of ‘Soldier’.

 

In Memory…

 

Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember those fallen soldiers who gave their very life for this country. These men and women not only put their hearts and souls into their jobs, but also into a country they believe in. They put their hearts and souls into a cause that provides freedom for innumerable nameless and faceless people who live here.

 

In Honor…

 

There are also any number of soldiers who are still giving their lives for us. These are the veterans who are still alive, yet suffering from tragedies such as PTSD, flashbacks, loss of limbs and physical as well as emotional wounds that may never heal. They have given us a gift so precious, yet struggle daily with the aftermath – pain, lack of decent medical care, broken families, broken hearts and souls. Some may have been discharged from service, yet through their wounds, they still serve daily. They knowingly and willingly gave up a ‘normal’ life for me. For all Americans.

 

Because of You…

 

Because of you, Soldier, I have been given the opportunity to make choices in my life. Choices that help to improve it, bring me joy, and wrap me in peace and contentment.  Your sacrifice has allowed me to exercise my right to own land.  I can feed my family, take care of my neighbors, and worship my God freely without question or interference. Because of you, I have fewer worries of war in my own backyard. I know you stand watchful every second of every day, working to prevent that from happening. Because of you, I can laugh, cry, celebrate, mourn and even sit on my prayer bench by the pond and simply ponder God’s wonders. I can choose my own job, rather than being forced into labor, or being jailed for something as simple as a smile.

A Heartfelt Thank You

 

I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for that precious gift. Because of your selfless service, you have reached the status of Hero in my mind, my heart and my soul. I will daily pray for each of you. For your families. Pray for those who have gone before us, those who currently serve and those who will serve in the future.

Thank you, Soldier. For keeping the heart of this country beating.

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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