During the past week, I have talked to several who recently have returned from serving our country overseas. Some have talked and shown pictures about Iraqi families they helped to regain some sense of normalcy. Others have shared information about their visits to archaeological sites associated with biblical characters. I have witnessed great joy as families reunited. I have seen anger, frustration, and confusion bottled up in men and women still trying to cope with what they have seen, touched, tasted, smelled, and heard. One would go back tomorrow if he could. Another cannot even talk about the horror he desperately wants to forget.
All these people are beginning an adventure. Yes, they are starting a journey down a path where random noises and smells will trigger memories and reactions. They will relive moments of achievement. They also will stagger as waves of depression or fear overwhelm them.
They need love - our love and God's love - as they and their families struggle to learn what they have become. Pray for our returning soldiers - National Guard, Active, and Reserve from every branch - and thank God for their courage and for their survival. Pray that they will know peace. Act to make their return a success. Ask how you may help, and when told, do something that will make a positive difference.