Whenever we consider our deployed troops, sometimes we give a bit of thought to families left behind, but not as much as we should. Not all our troops are married and/or have kids, but they too have people they love and who love them who are left to go on every day in a ‘normal’ world trying not to think about their hero every minute of every day.
April is Military Child month as Daisy reminded me, and we can’t let the month go by without us giving these amazing kids a hearty Heart Beat Salute too.
Consider the life of a Military kid and spouse…
Over 2 million kids have at least one parent who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan. The average military family moves every 2-3 years, There are roughly 36,000 kids who have both parents in the military and when both get deployed, the kids have to live with interim caregivers, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles or friends.
More than 52,000 service members have been wounded in action since 9/11 and approximately 320,ooo have PTSD or TBI injuries. There are approximately 5 million caregivers, mostly spouses or relatives who care for wounded service members or veterans with approximately 200,000 of them being post 9/11 veterans, some needing round the clock care, which is a huge emotional and financial drain on families.
And, not surprisingly, military kids are twice as likely to join the military than civilian kids. For some of these kids, they’re in it before they even take their first breath.
Consider this photo which has been around the internet for a few years. I know I have retweeted it often and seen it on many social media sites, especially being shared by Veteran friends.
This precious baby is Landon Carpenter, who is now 7 years old. He never got to meet his daddy because Landon was born less than a month after his dad, Lance Cpl. Andrew Carpenter was killed by a sniper in Afghanistan. Reading the article (you’ll have to scroll down a bit) that Daisy sent me, the main part that made me bawl was that Landon was given a onesie to wear in the hospital that said, “Born Free… because my Daddy fought for me.”
How many kids have a hero they never had a chance to meet. It’s beyond words and while I mean it from the bottom of my heart, Thank You seems so incredibly hollow considering how much families sacrifice too.
However, Thank You is all I have. Besides a big chunk of my heart for all our military. Especially for a very special one whom I miss incredibly when he’s gone.
Lord, bless our Troops and keep them ever in Your care. Keep them safe. And bless the families they leave behind, who do so much more than keep the home fires burning. The sacrifice of the few are incredible, but the sacrifices from the many they leave are sometimes so overwhelming.