Happy Fourth of July! I love this holiday. It always makes me cry to sing our national anthem at church the Sunday before this holiday. I am just forever grateful for those men and women who give so selfishly to serve and to keep us safe. I hope that I can teach my kids to always honor and respect those who are serving and who have served in the past.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post (Honoring A Hero) about my daughter Lydia making pillowcases for service men/women and veterans to honor them for their service. It was so fun to make these together and give them away.
Some days she really didn’t want to stop playing or watching TV to do this. But she ultimately did. Together we sewed 16 pillowcases in a week and a half. Today I will share two stories of recipients of our pillowcases. And hopefully through this month we can post the rest.
I thought the pillowcases looked so cute as we wrapped them up.
The first set we got done was given to Benjamin. He served in the military for 8 years. In his current job after the military he is having to live apart from his wife, Briana, and their two daughters. Being away from his family, especially his daughters, has been so hard on him. They have been living apart for 1 year and hoping to bring their family all together again soon. Briana said that their daughters were able to give the pillowcases to their Dad on Father’s Day. It was a special gift for them to give.
We wish them the best as they try to bring their family together! Thank you Benjamin for your service. We honor you today!
Our next story today is Lydia’s Uncle David and cousin Derrian. Her Uncle David joined the Army National Guard when he got back from his LDS mission. He went to basic training in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Then he went to more training in Presidio, San Francisco. Uncle David lived there for about six months while he trained to be a surgical assistant. The military was a blessing for him in many ways. One way was they paid for college. He got academic scholarships. His mission president also gave him a scholarship (twice). After that, he went to Guard duty one weekend a month and spent two weeks each year in additional training.
Then, David’s unit, 114th Evacuation Hospital, was called into active duty in the Fall of 1990 during “Operation Desert Shield”. They spent time in Fort Collins, CO and then went to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. General Norman Schwarzkopf wanted them close to coalition headquarters because they were considered the best army hospital. The coalition forces bombed Iraqi forces in “Operation Desert Storm” which was very successful and more or less put an end to the Iraqi aggression. David’s unit never saw action and just fixed up minor injuries, did vasectomies, etc. He came home after a six month deployment and his first son, Seth, was born several months later. He retired after eight years of service. He has a beautiful family with two sons and a daughter that is the apple of his eye.
Lydia’s cousin, Derrian has been in the Navy for 3.5 years. He went to basic training in Chicago, Illinois, and then served as a Fire Control Technician on a nuclear submarine called Bremerton. They were stationed on Joint Base Pear Harbor in Oahu, but went on six month missions. He has been able to see the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Guam. The crew he is serving with recently moved to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Seattle, Oregon. They are there to decommission the submarine because it is the oldest currently in use. Derrian will complete 2.5 more years of service. After that, he plans to take advantage of the great help with schooling the military offers.
We are so thankful for David’s service and constant example of strength and love for our country. And we are thankful for Derrian’s continued service now to keep us prepared and safe.
Abraham Lincoln gave a speech on July 10, 1858. One of his thoughts was this:
“I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms, until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.”
I am so grateful for those who have served and those who continue to carry this duty today. I hope that as we reach out to love others, we can help Abraham Lincoln’s statement come true. One way to spread love is to let our kids help.
Allowing our kids to do service helps them to grow personally along with blessing others to feel they are cared about. There is a quote from Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson that I love:
“One of the best ways to increase feelings of self-worth is to show, through our concern and service to others, that we have much of worth to contribute. I encourage you young women to raise your hands to volunteer and to put those hands to work when you see needs around you. As you fulfill your covenant responsibilities and participate in building the kingdom of God, blessings will flow into your life and you’ll discover the deep and lasting joy of discipleship.”
So encourage your daughters and sons to do service. Sometimes they don’t get excited about it. But we can try to think of their natural gifts and talents, and try to find service in those categories. Lydia loves to sew. So this was something she could easily do. And she felt very loved when she got to deliver them.
This week, take a few moments to plan a service activity. It doesn’t have to be big. I saw on IG a few weeks ago that one mom put a sign on her car and turned on music and gave out popsicles to neighborhood kids. So fun! The opportunities are endless! So if you have a talented Popsicle eating kid, suggest this one!
Life is Good. Share the Good.