A day to remember
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Luke 12.7
Recently I embarked on training as a Veterans Chaplain. One might ponder why we need such a service, as so very few of the wartime generations are left. On the other hand, more recent conflicts have highlighted mental health issues previously unknown or, at least, mis- or only partially understood. Cynics might claim it's down to a lack of resilience; after all, what is a short tour in Iraq compared to the terrifying ordeal of four years in the trenches?
The fact is that most of our military personnel serve with distinction, recover well and go on to live productive lives as civilians, often enriched by their military experience and contributing significantly to society as a result. But not everyone. So, we who benefit from the protection of our service-women and men, who put their lives on the line for our sakes, have a duty of care for those who return home damaged in mind, body, or spirit. It is fitting also that we remember those who did not return and the families, friends and communities who will feel their loss - sometimes over generations, such as is the case with the Iolaire tragedy.
War is sometimes noble, it is often un-necessary and it is never pretty. Thank God for what peace we enjoy and for those willing to pay the ultimate price for its preservation and extension. Above all, let us cherish the fact that God himself entered this beautiful world, whose broken-ness and violence is due to our sin, in order to heal the damage and bring us eternal peace.