I have two sons that are serving in the military. Christian aged 21 is an Army Combat Medic stationed in Texas. Janni aged 20, (pronounced Yonni), is a SAW Machine Gunner in the Marine Corp stationed in California. I am immensely proud of both of them as both have chosen to serve their country, and thereby you and I in a time of war.
We were blessed to have both boys home for a visit over Christmas. For Christian it was regular leave and for Janni it was pre-deployment leave. Simply put sometime in the next week or two Janni will be boarding a plane with his fellow Marines and landing sometime thereafter in the not so hospitable vacation destination called Iraq.
As would be expected my wife is a wreck about this but I am surprisingly calm about this eventuality. I am not ignorant of the possible bad things that can befall Janni. Going off to war does not always end well and we know others that have lost a dear friend in Iraq. I almost feel as though I should be ashamed for not worrying but I am a pragmatic thinker and have worked through the major points of my mindset as follows:
Faith- I do believe in God and I believe that he has a preordained plan for all of us. Janni’s fate is in the hands of a kind and merciful Father and as such who am I to argue with the outcome.
Janni’s desires- Janni has wanted to be a Marine from the earliest days of childhood. We adopted Janni from Romania when he was three years old. He came to us as a tough strong willed kid and has grown up to be a tough strong willed adult. Getting into the Marine Corp was difficult for him due to the testing required but he never once wavered or thought of giving up until he met all of the requirements to join. He was and is tenacious in his training and he will serve his country with honor. Janni is doing what he has always wanted to do- he is a Marine and Marines fight in times of war.
Military brotherhood- I have absolute faith that Janni’s fellow Marines will do all that they can to keep him safe. In high school Janni was physically jumped by another boy who was making racial remarks against him His brother Christian happened upon this fight and had his brothers back and helped him. Christian defended his brother and fought alongside him for it was the right thing to do. A brother defends his brother no matter what. In Iraq Janni will have hundreds of brothers helping keep him as safe as is possible. That is a comforting thought indeed.
Added all together my faith is in the Lord who will use Janni’s tenacious attitude and the full firepower of the Marine Corp as an instrument of His will.
May God watch over and protect Janni, Christian and all of those who serve in our armed forces in our name. Might I be so bold as to suggest that the next time you see someone in uniform be sure to thank them for their service. I can assure you that they do indeed appreciate it. They do indeed deserve it.