Always remember that as “One Nation Under God” the United States of America is far, far removed from the turmoil and danger that is experienced around the world on a daily basis and that we are so very blessed to live where we do, especially during the holiday season.

The closest that we have come to experiencing that turmoil and danger in recent times were the events of Sept. 11th, 2001.

For this wonderful gift of peace and freedom we have only one person to give thanks to – the American soldier. Remember the men and women of the United States Military have freely chosen to protect us and give us this gift. It is a gift that can never be reciprocated in full, and is only asked for remembrance in return.

Many American soldiers will not come home from their stations of turmoil and danger around the world to be with families and friends for the holidays. The American soldier will stand steadfast and strong, continuing to protect us and fight for freedom in places around the world with conditions that we cannot begin to imagine.

Flags will unfortunately drape coffins on their arrival back to our soil with Mothers, Fathers, wives, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers feeling the great pain of loss. We can’t change the course that the Lord has paved, however ours prayers can help the the healing and watch over those that are still in harms way. May God Bless our troops around the world and their families, and may He hold them safe in His arms until they come home again.

Remember it is not too late to send Christmas wishes to military personnel. Go online and find an avenue or service you feel comfortable with and send your blessings.

Speak to you again next year.

Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133 in Mineral Wells. Contact him at

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