Concert Surprise Reminds Us Of The Unspoken Costs Of Military Service


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This video is out of season, as it is a high school Christmas Concert, but the message of this video is one that needs to be brought before us regularly, so that we do not forget that there are men and women, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who are standing watch, or facing those who wish us harm at this very moment all over the world.

But there is something even more important, that very rarely gets the attention that those who serve on the front lines get. They are the families that are at home, waiting for the return of their family members, praying day and night for their safety, who are themselves “carrying on” with their daily duties and concerns.

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RTV6 The Indy Channel
Young women sing in a Christmas concert in Indiana.

It is very important to know that in today’s all-volunteer military, less than 1% of our nation’s population are serving in the uniforms of our military services. That means that less than 1% of our American families are “serving” this nation’s military needs and duties at this time. The other 99%, more often than not, never even think about those who are serving, or about their families. Most don’t even know that there are still wars going on, that members of our military are, at this time, 24 hours a day, standing guard in very dangerous parts of the world engaged in all the dangerous and necessary efforts that are required of them in order to protect our nation and our citizens from those who desire to do us harm.

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RTV6 The Indy Channel
One of the singers does not realize, someone special is waiting to come out.

This small video of this one reunion says everything about the costs of military service on the 1% of families who have stepped up to serve in these strange times. We can imagine that, as the daughter sings the words of this song, that she might be thinking of her mother and experiencing the feelings that go with knowing that her mother will probably not be home for yet another important family holiday.

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RTV6 The Indy Channel
This girl receives a once-in-a-lifetime surprise.

Behind those thoughts we can also imagine the unspoken worries and fears she has become used to concerning her mother’s safety. The mother has been serving in Africa for 14 months. She knows that she has missed a lot of her teenage daughter’s life experiences during that time.

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RTV6 The Indy Channel
A joyful reunion!

The emotion we see when the daughter realizes that her mom is the “surprise under the tree” needs no explanation. Just take it in and reflect on what the real costs of military service are to such a small percentage of our American families.

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The Veterans Site honor all who serve, and those who have served. But we also want to acknowledge and honor all of those military families who serve at home, who live with the realities of that service every day. You are the best among us. We thank you for your courage, your sacrifices and your commitment to the nation.

Read more from Veteran Dan Doyle: Click “Next” below!

Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.

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