I’ve had the daunting, and yet privileged task, of processing 149 plates of soldiers for the past 2 days.  When the order came across my desk yesterday, I was not told what exactly was in front of me.  It wasn’t until I got half way down the first page, and a row of seven soldiers in the same unit, in the same war, all with the same date listed beside them, that I started putting two and two together.  It was then and only then that I realized that I was processing plates for our base’s Wall of Heroes.

Their names began to stick out in my mind, well after I had processed the orders.  Only moments had gone by after my initial realization of what exactly my order was, that I found myself praying for their loved ones.  Thinking about the tremendous loss and sacrifices made on so many levels for the sake of freedoms and security that you and I enjoy every day.

I’ve done trophies and plaques and coins and medals to honor the living, but it was my first job to help honor the dead.  I felt gut punched, and my heart and my mind was filled with so many thoughts and emotions as I typed up their names, their units, and the dates of their deaths.  But, when it was all said and done, I felt honored and privileged to help recognize those that had given that ultimate sacrifice for our country and for others around the world.

Today has been tough.  Finishing up the orders, the reflection of what I was doing lingered.  And my own tribulations and hardships I’ve been going through lately had begun to surface and remind me just how tough things had been lately.  I found myself venting when I shouldn’t vent, mourning when I shouldn’t mourn, and just honestly… purely, emotionally drained.  I think part of it was because of said reflection over the past few days, and all that our men and women in duty go through and have sacrificed, and what their families have sacrificed; and then I look at my own life and what I’m going through and it all seems so trivial, in comparison.  And yet, I would be lying if I said that such revelation and reflection has steered me away from all the emotional dross that I’ve been carrying from my own hardships.  I can say this though… through this, God has reminded me that there is so much more to be grateful for that removes, relinquish, and covers the hardships that I’m currently enduring.  Sometimes it takes a dose of reality to jolt back to the mind and heart, the promises of God.  And sometimes, just sometimes… it can be in the most unusual and unexpected ways.

I love you, guys!

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