My post today is dedicated to all the military who risk their lives every day for our freedom, especially the Navy Seals, and Special Operation troops who lost their lives when their chopper was shot down August 6, 2011 over Afghanistan. Navy Seal Aaron Vaughn, part of this brave company of men, told his family he was not afraid to die. He knew where he was going. To Aaron Vaughn and these other brave soldiers I pay tribute. And for all who share Aaron’s hope, there will always be another homecoming. May God bless the families of these fallen hero’s for their sacrifice. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
On August 7, 2011, it was my honor and privilege to be among the family and friends who welcomed my son and his squadron home from their deployment in Iraq. The day was filled with excitement and anticipation as we counted down the minutes to his homecoming.
The air was hot and thick with moisture. A light sprinkle of rain fell as we watched the skies for a peek of the MC-130E that would bring my son home. Finally we saw it.
My eyes filled with glistening pride and I felt my breath catch as I saw the massive bird come into view. Wow, I’ll never forget that feeling.
A one time fly over and the huge cargo plane landed.
As the men of the Special Operations Squadron left the aircraft and walked onto the runway, they were met by high ranking officials who congratulated them on a job well done and welcomed them back. The crowd of family and friends applauded and cheered. All I felt was relief, and all I could think was,
he’s finally home.
My father was a war veteran from WWII, a part of “the greatest generation”. He was a the Hump pilot (flying under the radar in the China Burma India Campaign). Celebrating my son’s return brought to my memory another homecoming.
On June 12, 2007, it was my honor and privilege to be at my dad’s side when he left this world. His battle with Alzheimer’s finally came to an end.
My sister and I rushed back from our separate vacations to be with him. Even though he laid quietly, with eyes shut, I knew he could hear me. Holding his hand I leaned over and whispered, ” It’s alright, we’ll all be okay. You can go now. You can go home and see Jesus.”
I knew he heard me because he took one deep breath, exhaled and quietly slipped away.
As I looked at his body, now an empty shell, I knew one day I’d be with him again. In my minds eye I could see him walking onto a heavenly runway, where Jesus’ eyes glistened with pride as He welcomed one of His own home. With a smile and embrace He said, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
In the background I could see crowds of angels and the family members who had gone before, applauding and cheering,
“You’re home ….You’re finally home.”
God never meant for us to get too comfortable in this world we live in as it’s not our final destination. 1 Peter 2:11 reminds us that we are aliens and strangers of this world. There are much grander things that await us.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also for all those who have longed for His appearing.”
For those of us left behind for a time, we can look forward with hope and not fear, to that day when we too will hear those words…” Welcome home…you’re finally home.”