I have a lot of respect for one particularly thoughtful friend, with whom I disagree on occasion wholeheartedly.
My friend makes the good argument that Christianity MUST necessarily remain totally independent, in every way from the US Government. I agree.
My friend, by application, objects vehemently to any particular recognition of Armed Forces veterans, since they act as agents of said government. He objects to any recognition by the Christian Church that singles out these veterans. This is where we part company, on this exact point.
My friend never served in the Armed Forces. He is NOT a veteran. I went 4 years to the US Naval Academy, then served 8 more years on active duty accumulating over 2500 hours of flight time. I supposed this partly explains our difference in perspective on this veteran thing.
I know a lot of military veterans, 3 of my brothers included. Several of my friends are retired military officers. I have a tremendous respect and sense of gratitude for these men and women. Many came into the military largely out of ignorance, but that didn’t last long. Somewhere in your first couple of weeks of military training it dawns on you that your NEW job is quite dangerous – and not likely to become any safer anytime soon.
We call it military “service” because all who “serve” are putting themselves into a situation where they may well DIE for their country, regardless of their personal patriotism, their political inclinations, or their views of governance. They are trained to participate in war, in one role or another, but war nevertheless. Their service does a great deal to protect the peace and prosperity of those back home.
Police officers, firefighters, Emergency medical technicians, and the US military are all part of service professions. Jesus once told his disciples, “He who is greatest among you is SERVANT of all.” All of these, much of their time, are serving a great many. By that token they are great.
I am in favor of recognizing, as often as possible, all who serve in whatever capacity – including military veterans.
But, I might be wrong.