What or who?

I was watching this video and of course sobbing. But when I watched all those soldiers and the close ups of their faces I couldn't help but notice the faraway look in their eyes. Some of them made me want to go get them and give them a hug that would take all of what they experienced away and then send them back home to their families.

Is a soldier a "what" or a "who"? I think too many times people look at them as a collective unit. Faceless men and women who wear the same uniform and we put our magnets on our cars "for the soldier" and that's it. That's our proof that we care. But they aren't a collective unit. They are individuals who I'm sure in the darkest of nights hurt inside that they aren't at home with the people who love them. They may not admit to a tear or two falling but I believe they do.

I don't know what I'm trying to say. Sometimes it just hurts in the pit of my stomach to think of them being deployed and so far from home. What happens when they get sick and they need some TLC? Or when they are scared who reassures them all will be ok? I've been so caught up in how we deal with it back home that I forgot that yes, they may be soldiers and this may be what they train for and accept but they are still us. They still feel underneath all that gear. And I feel so ashamed for not acknowledging all that before.

I pray that when each of them needs that goodnight hug tonight and every night that God will somehow reach them and that they feel that warmth in their souls and they will know they aren't alone and that we wait here to do it for real when they return to us.


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