Love is action.

It’s not just a word.  I was reminded of this during the homily that was given by my pastor Father Frank Schuster this Sunday.  As with any other good sermon it makes you think about where it applies to our lives.  One can see it in how most parents behave with their children or how people who love each other don’t hesitate to sacrifice something to help please the other.  Their actions speak louder than the word itself.

On a weekend that has me thinking a bit more about how awesome this country is and how much thanks we owe to the soldiers for their sacrifice I could not help but apply that same thought.  Love is action.  When I apply that thought to our military it really hits home for me.  While I know that there are a lot of reasons that you could chose to join the military aside from the love of your country (education, discipline, getting to play with cool toys that blow things up) I can’t see people signing up knowing that they could be placing themselves in danger and not having a love for their country.

I’ve read the rhetoric that would have people believe that the military is made up of under educated people or those with little choice.  However the statistics on recruitment don’t bear that out.  Median income for families whose children join the military is at par with the nation and education wise 98% of recruits have a high school education or higher.  Basically the makeup of our service men and women are very much along the lines of the makeup of the country and the idea that the military relies on people who are poor, undereducated or minorities for their personnel is a fallacy.

Even when there were drafts our armed forces did not behave like some other conscripted forces where there was little or no commitment to their country’s cause.  I’d like to think that for most of those who were drafted that while they may not have liked being forced to serve, they understood the need and loved their country enough to follow that through.  Which brings me back to love is an action not just a word.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  Our military is largely made up of awesome men and women who by their sacrifices allow us to live in the greatest nation in the world and enjoy so much freedoms that many others do not have.  I know war is stupid and horrible.  But until the rest of the world also “gets it” you have to be willing to fight for your way of life or you’ll be living someone else’s idea of what your way of life should be.

All our rights that we enjoy have been preserved by our military.  If you are ever angry about where we fight, save that for the politians since it’s not the military that chooses where to fight.  They simply serve the nation they love and for that I am eternally grateful.

Please say a prayer for those who served and never came home or came home in a coffin.  And while you are enjoying your Memorial Day, look for a vet and thank them for their service and for loving their country enough to stake their lives on it.