Today our church dedicated it’s service to a patriotic theme and honored our veterans.
At one point, each branch of the military service was recognized and members of the church who had served in that branch were asked to stand when their song was played. When the Army flag entered the sanctuary and the theme song played, Tucker jumped to his feet and stood up. Immediately, someone sitting close by tugged on his coat and told him to… “sit down”… in essence …that’s not for you, you’re just a kid…not a soldier.
In truth Tuck is not yet a man or a soldier, but I disagree about whether or not he deserved to stand.
In my opinion, Tuck is serving. At six years old he understands more about sacrifice than most adults ever will. For him, a year without his father is an eternity. These are days he will never get back. He is serving his country. Today, Tucker Neeley deserved to stand. Unfortunately, after he was “scolded” … he sat down and hid his face. He refused to get back up. Jordan looked over at me with tears rolling down her cheeks. We exchanged a knowing glance.
I can’t even describe the range of emotions that ran through me. Mainly hurt for Tuck, but also genuine frustration that so few people truly understand what this year has been like for us. A lot of comparisons have been thrown out and I’m not arguing that life is not full of difficult circumstances, but serving during a war is a unique experience. There are no comparisons. Plain and simple.
Only the ones who have walked in our shoes can grasp the full weight and meaning behind the sacrifice that makes the 4th of July possible.
You have the right to sit because someone stood up.