A Blank Check – What Commitment Really Means

posted in: Politics | 3

I sang at a funeral today.  Nobody I knew, just something I do every now and then if I’m requested or if the other singer isn’t available.

The man the service was for was a life time military man.  He served in Vietnam and was highly decorated.  He knew what it meant to serve his God, family and country honorably.  When they began to wheel the casket out two older men in the congregation popped up and saluted while this gentleman made his last trip down our church’s aisle.  I can go the entire service dry eyed, sing heart wrenching songs with out a crack in my voice, but when something like that happens my eyes well up and threaten to brim over.

In the last few weeks of his life he spoke with our minister about how he wanted his service to be preformed and about his life in the military.  He explained what it means to be a veteran.  He said that when you make a commitment to your country you are signing your name to a blank check with the knowledge that you will make good on the payment whatever the cost.  He said you never default on that check and always pay your debts.  When you make a commitment to God or family or country the right and honorable thing to do is keep your commitment.  This man, like so many others, served their country honorably and never ever defaulted on their debt.

What a poignant sentiment to hear when our country is on the brink of defaulting on it’s debts.  Good, honest people are serving our country, making sacrifices and are now going without because our leaders can’t quit their squabbling.  While our economy is at a precipice and people are going to work without pay, our “leaders” continue to bicker.

Washington, please, do the right thing.  For the sake of every American who is serving their country.  For the sake of my friend’s husband who just finished basic training for the Army reserve only to come home and find out he won’t get the pay he was counting on.  For the sake of the families who are mourning their loved ones and a thought they weren’t going to get their benefits.  For the sake of this honorable man who served his country and never dreamed of defaulting on his debts.

For goodness sakes,  if you’re not sure what it means to make a commitment and live up to it just look to the people who are suffering from your folly.

3 Responses

  1. Fabulous, Stephanie!!! Very proud of you for writing this. I couldn’t help but think of my dad today which made Bert’s service even more difficult. Since coming to FCC, Bert was a part of our little lunch group. I’m proud of the changes he forced me to make. His wife does not yet know that he had ordered a bracelet from me, giving me complete freedom in the design, and he was going to give it to her soon. He knew he wouldn’t be here for Christmas. His cousin is checking it out for me to know when to give it to her. We determined that today should not be the day. Bless you, my friend!!

  2. Nicole Sterling

    Strong words, Stephanie, and a beautiful job singing this morning (as usual). I also teared up and got a lump in my throat when I saw those two gentleman stand up and salute. We have only know Bert for a few short years, but we were very fond of him and we were lucky enough to enjoy lunch with him (and our other lunch bunch groupies) each week after church. I absolutely agree that he and all our other military personnel sign a blank check to their country, and the government should suck it up and play like grownups. We have men and women risking their lives every day for our country and our leaders won’t even do their “office” jobs because they disagree with each other. It’s ridiculous!

  3. Gary Hardwick

    Well said Stephanie. I have had the honor of officiating at several funerals that involved military honors at the graveside. The flag ceremony that is so solemn, so deliberate. The gun salute. The playing of Taps. All of these things done by people who, usually, did not know the person, but they do it with such dignity because it is a brother/sister who has fallen…and that is, really, all that matters. They must be honored. There is a lot I don’t like about the military, but they do get this right. Very right!!

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