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Summary: Today, we want to honor and salute our armed service veterans and there are many reasons for doing this.

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INTRO.- ILL.- All Soldiers Are Heroes by Christel Ables. I am new to the army. I have only been in for a little over a year. I come from a long line of soldiers. My father, Robert Ables is an Iraqi veteran. I found out a month ago that I will be going as well in just a few months.

I was scared out of my mind, as I had been keeping up with all the news since the war started. I talked to my dad about the war. He was there just before, during, and after the initial bombing of Iraq.

I will never forget what he told me. He said, " Honey, you would be silly not to be scared. Being over cautious is what keeps most soldiers alive. Remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to face it. It is in my opinion that every soldier is already a hero. People who join the military know that someday, sooner or later, will face conflict. That is heroism. I was in charge of a platoon, and one thing we did was go around and let everyone tell the story of why they joined. Most answers were for college money, for opportunity, to see the world... but one soldier told me something I rarely hear, He said that he lived in New York when 9-11 happened. His whole world died.

His wife worked in the trade center, and his 11-month-old son was there at day care. They didn’t make it out alive. He had no one to live for. His parents died when he was 17. He decided that he could live for his country and continue to fight for the freedom that his father and grandfather fought for him."

With a hug and a good night, I went into my room and reflected on what my father said. He was right you know...I AM scared, but I am also ready to fight for my country, and for everything that our veterans fought for before my time.

Brothers and sisters, there are many veterans of war who could share similar stories of what took place in war. Today, we want to honor and salute our armed service veterans and there are many reasons for doing this.

I. THEY LEFT HOME TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY

Gen. 12:1-4 "The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran."

God called Abraham into His service. It must have been a difficult thing for Abraham to leave his country, his people, etc. He left, having little contact, no way to contact them, etc. How lonesome he must have been.

Similarly, it has to be very tough for a young person to leave his or her family for the military life. It’s a strange and different world and sometimes, no doubt, a very difficult world for some. Little contact with family. Snail mail and few phone calls. No e-mail communication like we have it today.


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