Pray for those laying down their lives down for us!

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Prayer for the families. . .

Father God:

We lift up to you the families of the men and women who are serving in the armed forces and laying down their lives for all of us here in the United States. We petition for a covenant of protection over them, their marriages, over the children, teenagers, and babies within the families and over the mothers and fathers. Please send warring angels to encamp about each and every one of them to protect them from all evil and the wiles of the devil.

Thank you God for sending the Comforter to all of them to draw them close to YOU. We ask that you draw each and every one of them into your bosom to hold them tight within your heart and let them feel your heart beat for them.  

We pray for harmony within each family, being of the same mind with You God, having the same Love and being of one accord. We speak peace to any “storms” within the family.

We pray that in their loneliness, that they would seek You God and draw close to You! We pray that you would strengthen them and help them to walk in Your ways. We surrender the burdens to You and to You alone and trust that You always answer prayer. Thank You! In Jesus Name we pray! Amen!

O’er Their Glorious Grave

By Greg Rangel

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me” ~Lee Greenwood

But once again do we hear the television reporter say how another valley soldier lost his life in the line of duty. And perhaps the reaction of each one of us is very different. Some unfortunately will not be affected at all by the soldier’s death, or so they think, and simply go on to another channel, perhaps because it is not worth their time, and because if they spend a minute or two they will miss their favorite program or the highlights of some sports event that is taking place. Others believe that they will not be affected by the soldier’s death simply because they did not know the fallen, and due to that they will show no concern. Others who might be more patriotic will begin to silently mourn for the brave soldier who gave himself for a cause that he did not begin but believed in, while others will be devastated, perhaps because it hit close to home. Each one of us will react differently each time we hear how a life was lost in the line of duty.

It is a very unfortunate thing to see how people will become very disrespectful towards the flag and the grave of a fallen soldier. They believe they have the right and the reasons to go and interrupt the funeral service and begin to scream hateful words towards the fallen soldier’s family. But I believe that such do not have the right to call themselves true Americans or Americans at all because they have forgotten the very reason that caused us to live in a free country, and one of the greatest countries that has ever existed. They have forgotten that this country became free through the blood of our brave soldiers. We must remember that freedom is not given, freedom is fought for and it has to be taken. And for this very reason America exists. Oh how quick do people forget this truth!

Very deceived is he who believes that the blood of the fallen soldier has no effect on him. “Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing; We never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it by being a slave himself” said Abraham Lincoln (July 1, 1854).

Had blood not been spilled for this nation, we would not have had the freedom that we currently have. America exists because of the fallen soldiers who fought for us, and gave their life so that we might have freedom. This government came to be through war. Many brave soldiers who wanted to be free from the rules and reign of England spilled their blood so that freedom might exist. “For love of country they accepted death…” said James A. Garfield.

Have we forgotten the very reason why all those soldiers fought under General George Washington prior to him becoming the first President? “The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree” said Thomas Campbell. We must always give honor to our fallen soldiers because without them tyranny would exist. A fallen soldier’s grave is not a grave of shame, as some would have us to believe, it is a grave of glory. Cover them over with beautiful flowers, Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours, Lying so silent by night and by day Sleeping the years of their manhood away. Give them the meed they have won in the past; Give them the honors their future forcast; Give them the chaplets they won in the strife; Give them the laurels they lost with their life” said Will Carleton.

“These heroes are dead. They died for liberty – they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest. Earth may run red with other wars – they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead” (Robert G. Ingersoll).

The greatest example of freedom is seen in even Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus said in John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.And so we see the freedom that He provided for us. That freedom was made possible because Jesus shed His own precious blood on the cross. Without the shedding of blood there would have been no freedom. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” the Bible says in Hebrews 9:22. Paul the Apostle wrote, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondageGalatians 5:1. And so therefore since we see that even the Son of God had to shed His own blood to give us freedom, why should we believe the opposite when it comes to the blood of our soldiers?

Whether you disagree with my reasoning, you still have an obligation to submit to the authority that God placed over this country. Paul the Apostle wrote, Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation…wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour (Romans 13:1-2, 5-7). And so therefore we must give honor to our soldiers, and especially the fallen at that.

“Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable… the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being of one mind resolved to die free men rather than live slaves” said Thomas Jefferson – Declaration of the Causes Taking Up Arms July 6, 1775.

“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did” said Benjamin Harrison. “And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave” said Joseph Drake.

It is our duty as Americans who have attained this freedom at the cost of blood, to honor those who shed their blood for this freedom we have and enjoy.

Those who gave their life for this country were sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors, and even co-workers. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” said Maya Angelou.

Many of the fallen soldiers were but youth, kids that had recently graduated high school. Each and every one of them left a loved one behind grieving. “Perform, then, this one act of remembrance before this Day passes – Remember there is an army of defense and advance that never dies and never surrenders, but is increasingly recruited from the eternal sources of the American spirit and from the generations of American youth,” said W.J. Cameron.

These soldiers have not died in vain. They died for our freedom. They died serving their God and their country. Let us not forget that. “Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored” (Daniel Webster). “They fell, but o’er their glorious grave. Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save” (Francis Marion Crawford).

We call upon You God!

Father God:

 

We lift up to you all of those in the armed forces who have sacrificed their lives down for all of us here in the United States. We petition for a covenant of protection over each and every one. We pray for the salvation of their souls! Please send warring angels to encamp about them to war on behalf of them. Send ministering angels sent forth for those who are heirs of salvation to speak truth and grace to every one of them. I ask the precious Holy Spirit to draw them into your Kingdom. Send laborers to assist in this.

We plead the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus of Nazareth, who shed His blood for them at the cross over them and around them for a hedge of protection. Thank you that the violent take it by force! Thank you for directing their paths and when You say, “This is the way,” they will walk in it. Thank you for hearing our prayers and answering all of them! We put our trust in the One and Only King of the Universe! We call upon You! And, we thank You!  In Jesus Name I pray . . . Amen!

Thank you for laying down your lives!

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

A mother's tears . . .

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- It's hard to get hold of the grief of a mother.

The tears are there, just under the surface, falling uninvited at the memory of loss.

Becky Loggins knows those tears all too well. She sheds them for the beloved son who went off to fight a war, who became a man of purpose in the uniform of a Marine, who died in a foreign country as the target of an Iraqi sniper.

Loggins is the mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Adam Loggins, 27, who was killed April 26, 2007, by sniper fire while conducting combat operations in the Anbar province of Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The nearly four years since then have not softened the sharp pain of Loggins' broken heart. Daily she lives with her loss, going to work, being a mom to a daughter and another son, making connections with her friends in Athens. But, with every step she takes, she carries the grief that is so difficult to shrug off.

"I keep things inside. I know I should talk about them. But it's hard. I want people to remember Adam, so I need to talk about him," Loggins said. "My life has completely changed. Life can change in a heartbeat."

Loggins is among the parents, siblings, spouses, children and other relatives and family friends that this weekend's TAPS event at Redstone Arsenal hopes to reach. TAPS, which stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, will bring its TAPS Survivor Seminar and TAPS Good Grief Camp for children and teenagers to Bicentennial Chapel beginning Feb. 4 and extending through Feb. 6. The program will be hosted by Army Community Service's Survivor Outreach Services. For more information or to register, visit www.taps.org or call 876-5397 or 842-8375.

Loggins and her daughter Amber Godwin, an operating room nurse at Athens Hospital, have attended a TAPS event at Fort Campbell, Ky. Although she is not making plans to attend Redstone Arsenal's TAPS, Loggins said she is appreciative of the programs the military and non-profit support groups provide for those who live with the death of a beloved servicemember.

"I read about SOS in the paper and I contacted them. But I am not exactly sure what I am looking for," Loggins said. "I keep looking for something to make me feel better. But there's only one thing that will make me feel better and I can't have it. I do know, though, it always feels better to be around people who know how you are feeling, who get it."

For Loggins, writing her grief, rather than talking about it, has been her way of coming to terms with her son's death. She writes on an Internet blog at logginsfamily.blogspot.com, where many of the entries are tear wrenching. She has written an article about her son - Excerpts from My Broken Heart: The Combat Death of My Son -- that appeared in a magazine published by The Compassionate Friends, a national organization providing grief support groups for bereaved families following the death of a child. Compassionate Friends does offer a Huntsville-based support group for bereaved parents and adult siblings that Loggins attends regularly.

"My daughter has been a source of strength for me," Loggins said. She has also found strength in the everyday things, such as her job in customer service, and lawn and garden at Lowe's in Athens, and in her hobbies of scrapbooking, knitting, crochet and quilting.

"I've made a lot of good friends at work," she said. "When I first went to work I didn't tell anybody about Adam. I didn't want to talk about it."

But a chance encounter with a representative of Veterans Affairs who was in the store making a purchase brought Loggins to tears.

"I knew I had to tell others then. I thought I was handling it by not talking about it. I thought everything was OK," she said. "But then that happened and I knew I needed to talk about this more. I started by putting Adam's picture on my locker at work. On Memorial Day (2010), I started telling people about him."

As she thinks about her son, Loggins knows that he was destined to serve his country. Adam wanted to join the Marines after graduation from East Limestone High School. His mother asked him not to and, instead, he took college classes as an emergency responder with plans to be a firefighter like his dad.

"He always wanted to join the Marines. I begged him, please, not to. Then 9/11 happened and I think he grew into a man and he wanted to do it," Loggins said.

Adam and his younger brother Josh were close to Loggins' father, who was a Vietnam veteran and a retired Army staff sergeant. Don Collins died of symptoms related to Agent Orange in 1994.

Adam was 26 when he joined the Marines and graduated from boot camp in April 2006. His nickname quickly became "Old Man River." And, nearly at the same time, his younger brother Josh joined the Army.

"Josh and Adam were real close. Adam wanted to be his own man and he did it his way. Oh, the difference I saw when he got out of boot," Loggins said. "A lot of people don't understand Adam's dream. But I understood it."

But, though she understood, Loggins also feared the worst for her oldest son. As a young girl, Loggins was stationed with her family at Fort Campbell in 1964-67, where she saw what a nation at war meant to servicemembers and families dealing with loss. It wasn't long before Adam, trained as a heavy machine gunner, got his orders to deploy to Iraq. He left in January 2007, and four short months later he was killed.

"I saw this. I knew what war was. I knew it when he went. I knew what would happen," Loggins insisted.

"He knew he was going to war. They prepare them for that very well. He knew when he went what it was all about. When he told his sister he was being deployed, she started to cry. He said 'Don't cry, Amber. I want to do this. This is what I want to do.'"

The family, including fiancAfA Brandy Heath, went to Camp Lejeune to be with Adam in the few days before his deployment. Once he deployed, he called whenever he could to tell his mom he loved her and missed her.

"I sent him letters and packages. I sent cookies with help from the Girl Scouts," Loggins said. "He played soccer at East Limestone and I have a picture of him playing soccer with little Iraqi kids. He made lance corporal in Iraq and I have a picture of that ceremony."

Before he deployed, Loggins sewed the identification tags into Adam's uniforms. Without him knowing, on the back of each tag, she wrote a Bible verse.

"I prayed over them. But it didn't work. I was a little mad at God," Loggins said. "I am not so mad at Him anymore. But my perception of God is different."

Loggins was attending a luncheon in Huntsville with her son's father, then Huntsville Fire Chief Danny Loggins, when they received a phone call that Marines were at their home in Athens. All the way home, Loggins prayed that her son wasn't dead. She knew when she saw the faces of the Marines that her prayers' desire would not be answered.

"When that happens, your life is just devastated. I don't remember a lot of the things that happened after that," she said.

Today, she still can't talk about those days surrounding Adam's death. Soon after, the family received invitations from veterans and military groups that wanted to recognize them at events. Some of those were attended. But, today, Loggins shies away from them. She also stays away from daily news reports on the war.

"It's hard for me to see young Marines, knowing what they may be going to," she said. "We don't want those killed in war to be forgotten. But it's hard to be reminded about what we have lost. It also bothers me when people think I'm a hero for what I've been through. I am not a hero."

A display of Adam's uniform, medals and other mementoes is part of the collection at the Alabama Veterans Museum in Athens. Rather than hanging a Gold Star banner in her window at home, Loggins cherishes the more gentle, personal reminders of her son. A Marine scrapbook and a bracelet of his pictures are among her favorites. And, tattooed on Loggins' left ankle are the words "Semper Fi," the Marine motto, meaning Always Faithful.

"Adam loved tattoos," she said. "Me, my daughter, Brandy, my sister and my niece all got the same tattoo together. Adam loved the Marines. He was exactly where he wanted to be. I love the military, too."

Prayer for the Armed Forces

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace, strengthen them in their trials and temptations, give them courage to face the perils which beset them, and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Gateway . . .

The Gateway of Life

"We say goodbye! but not forevermore;
The call but summons to yon further shore.

And when we too embark,
It is not for the dark of unknown seas,
but for the welcome meeting
with loved ones gone before,
who wait our greeting.

Living in Hope and Faith,
we fear not Death;
tis but the Gate of Life."

Brave Men & Women of the Armed Forces Tragic Deaths . . .

A Response to the Tragic Deaths of Our
Brave Men and Women of the Armed Forces

To the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents and other relatives of our brave Armed Forces men and woman killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world, Bereaved Parents of the USA offers our most sincere and heartfelt sympathy to each of you.

As each of us has also had a precious children die we know first hand the pain and grief that you are now faced with. We want you to know that BP/USA understands and cares about you in your time of great sorrow and that we will never forget the sacrifice that your child has made for us.

Visit TAPS.org for more info or call
800-959-TAPS (8277).

On this website you will find information that we hope will be helpful to you and we invite and encourage you to contact any member of our National Board of Directors or Chapter Leaders listed on this site to give you help and guidance as you begin your grief journey.

To us, your loved one will never be a statistic or just causality. We offer a sympathetic ear and the encouragement that you can make it through these days even though it may not seem possible now. You will never get over the loss – only through it. Each of us bereaved parents relives our grief each time we hear of another death or see faces of you or your loved one in the media. One of the ways we remember and honor our children is by reaching out to others and we stand ready to help you.

Pat Moser, Past-President, BP/USA

Note: For helpful resource information, we recommend you check out the following website - TAPS - The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc. (TAPS) provides a wide variety of programs and information to survivors, military and casualty personnel and others.

If you have any comments, please email president@bereavedparentsusa.org

Do no stand at My Grave . . .
When Tomorrow Starts without me . . .

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Latest comments

17.03 | 00:11

Praise God! He is so good to all of us!

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16.03 | 15:20

I needed to hear this today. Its been sooo very difficult for a long time honestly asked God if I was the toxic one and just didn't realize it so I could repent

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11.01 | 20:32

this is so beautiful and such a testimony to the Lord's healing power and sanctification through our suffering. Much of my walk with Christ is similar to yours.

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12.12 | 00:13

Shavua Tov

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