THANK YOU, friends and family for your thoughtful expressions of gratitude on Veterans' Day.
Whatever service I rendered to God and country came about rather naturally for this Oklahoma boy who grew up during World War II. In that war most kids made their contribution collecting things for the war effort. Supporting the troops then was a family affair. While some of our extended family went off to military duty, the remaining family "fought the war" any way we could. As kids we were challenged by our leaders to buy war stamps that eventually would be cashed into war bonds. We collected any scrap metal we could carry all to way to gum and candy wrappers. We got medals for bundles of papers we turned in. As a family we were challenged to conserve on dish washing soap and were rationed on gas and tires. The women volunteered for Red Cross jobs such as wrapping bandages for the wounded and serving as hostesses for the USO. Perhaps the conflicts we have had in our country since the Korean, and Vietnam wars and the more recent conflicts in the Middle East are in some measure related to a civilian lack of understanding of the wars and a personal investment in them. For a few days after 9-l1, some of us thought we would have a sober, thoughtful, prayerful response to that tragic attack. Instead, we turned it over to the politicians and the military. All we were asked to do was to cheerlead the troops and go shopping. There came a time in my life when I could cheerfully sing, "Ain't gonna study war no more." The message I get from the Bible is the time is still coming when we will live in a peaceful kingdom and beat our swords into plowshares.