Thanksgiving is a time to remember family, comrades

| December 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Folauga Tupuola
Headquarters and Headquarters Company 2nd Battalion
25th Combat Aviation Regiment
25th Combat Avn. Brigade
25th Infantry Division



Many Soldiers, along with their families and loved ones, are unable to gather together for Thanksgiving this month.

Soldiers and civilians deployed thousands of miles away from home, once again, are unable to enjoy the fellowship and Thanksgiving meal with those dearest to their hearts.

Thanksgiving is a time when families unite and enjoy each other’s companionship while reflecting on their life’s journey and good deeds during the past year. It’s also a time to thank military families by acknowledging the hard work and sacrifice that their loved ones in the armed forces provide for the sake of freedom, our citizens and our nation.

As you enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday, let it not only be a time for thankfulness, but also a time for rest and replenishment.

I believe that God is with everyone and has his hand in every situation, whether good or bad. He is present in all circumstances. One should consider this a blessing, for where God is present, we have the opportunity to embrace him and for him to comfort us.

When most people think of Thanksgiving, the first thing that comes to mind is turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, etc. Second, many think of those who sacrifice their lives for our freedom. However, I think of Thanksgiving as an act of giving thanks, which reminds of me of the 110th Psalm:

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.”

Notice the words “shout,” “serve,” “come” and “know.” These are all action verbs used in this context to express thanksgiving to the one that sustains life and all of creation.

I remember an article about a schoolteacher who asked her first-grade students to draw a picture of something they were thankful for on Thanksgiving. She thought of how little many of these children from poor neighborhoods actually had to be thankful for in their lives. That being said, she knew that most of them would draw pictures of turkeys on tables with food. However, the teacher was taken aback with the picture drawn by a student named Douglas — a simple hand.

The class was captivated by the abstract image. “I think it must be the hand of God that brings us food,” said one child. “A farmer’s hand,” said another, “because he grows the turkeys.” Finally, when the other students were back at work, the teacher bent over Douglas’ desk and asked him whose hand it was. He mumbled, “It’s your hand, teacher.”

She recalled that during recess she had frequently taken Douglas, a scrubby, forlorn child, by the hand. She often did that with many of the children, but it meant so much more to Douglas. “Perhaps this is everyone’s Thanksgiving, not for the material things given to us, but for the chance, in whatever small way, to give to others,” she thought.

During this season, please remember your family members, extended Army family members (leaders, battle buddies, Army civilians, co-workers) and your next-door neighbors in your prayers. Prayer is an action verb that not only asks for God’s blessings for others, but also gives God praise and thanksgiving.



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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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