Military Life

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In the words of Pope John Paul II:
" The military world, now and in the past, often appears as a vehicle of evangelization and a privileged place for reaching the height of holiness: I am thinking of the centurions of the Gospel, I am thinking of the first martyred soldiers and all who throughout history, by serving their sovereign land, learned how to become soldiers and witnesses of the one Lord, Jesus Christ." ~  Pope John Paul II

Catholic Catechism:

CCC 2310: Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense.  Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations.  If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.

CCC2239: It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one's country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.

Military Life ~ Service and Sacrifice

The servicemen and women of the United States Military have heeded the call to fulfill their duty to defend the common good, not just of our great nation, but of the world. I am honored and blessed to be a part of our active duty military as a dependant wife. I honor those who risk their lives in defense of our country and her freedom, and consider their service a great act of virtue and charity.

The service and sacrifice of the military family is unequaled anywhere else in society. We endure frequent relocations, with some assignments reaching to the far corners of the world. We suffer separation and loss. Many of us kiss our spouses and send them off to unknown lands, hoping and praying they will return home to us, but accepting the reality that they may not. We see the tears in our childrens’ eyes as they wave good-bye to their Daddies and Mommies. We feel the heartache of weeks and months of loneliness and fear as we pray for the safety of our loved ones and friends.

However, we also receive an abundance of blessings in this most unique lifestyle. We are given great opportunities to travel and visit parts of the world we might otherwise never have seen. Because we are frequently removed from extended family and friends of our ‘hometowns’, we find that we create unique and close-knit friendships with those we are stationed with. Our friends become our ‘families’, standing by one another through all the joys and sorrows of life. Even within individual families, the bonds may be tighter, as each individual learns to cooperate and support the others through times of separation, relocation and transition.

This has certainly been true within my own family. For the fourteen years of our married life and military career, we have lived with constant ‘hellos’ and ‘good-byes’ as my husband fulfills his duty as a pilot for the United States Air Force. It has, at times, been quite a cross to carry. Resentment, loneliness and fear initially made the acceptance of my role as a military wife difficult. But God has since showed me the beauty in this lifestyle and taught me the virtue of my individual sacrifice and daily suffering. Each member of our family has learned that Daddy can only do his job well if we all work together to love, support and encourage him, and that means doing our part managing the ‘homefront’.

We have also found that being military offers us a unique opportunity to share our Catholic Faith. Just being faithfully Catholic in today’s world places us in a special group of individuals. Being a large Catholic family in the military makes us even more unique. Our daily life, as seen by our military peers, is a witness to our faith and trust in God.

We recognize this lifestyle for all its sacrifices and sufferings, its benefits and blessings and we are honored to be a United States Military family. May God bless all those who serve our country and may they stand under the protection of St. Michael the Archangel and the mantle of Our Blessed Mother Mary and her Immaculate Heart.

+JMJ+

Julie

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Check out Catholicmil.org for more information on faith and military life.