As of July, Eric and I will have been at military life for 6 years.
Our life has been preparedness for war since the day we got into this life.
Here is what I can tell you about war.
We often think of war as this overt act of battle.
We think of troops in far away places.
We think of men and women training to fight.
We think of the soldier wielding the gun.
What we forget is that the chaplain unarmed wields a Bible and the cook wields a spatula, and they too, have equally gone to war.
War is complex, fast paced, and demands a lot of skill sets. Many of these skill sets have nothing to do with defense, and everything to do with mission support.
Right now, we are at war.
We are at war in our communities.
We are at war in our own heads.
We are at war in our own hearts.
We are at war against a virus – a truly formidable opponent.
Our doctors and our nurses are our soldiers wielding weapons. And they absolutely rock.
But to the stay at home mom who is staying up late to make face masks for your neighbors, you matter too.
To the teenager who grabbed groceries for your high risk neighbor, you matter too.
To the CEO who is scrambling to find a way to use your power and resources for good, you matter too.
To the small business chef trying to keep your neighborhood fed, you matter too.
To the teacher who had to rapidly transition to online teaching to keep our students educated, you matter too.
To the politicians staying up late fighting red tape and citizen doubt, you matter too.
To the preacher adapting Sunday services to social media, you matter too.
To the overworked social worker exposed to the virus because your job is keeping kids safe, you matter too.
To the grocery clerk who wants to go home, you matter too.
To the police officer trying to keep those who don’t want to follow the rules away from each other, you matter too.
To the volunteer working to meet silent but necessary gaps in your community, you matter too.
To the bored human sitting at home, uncertain how to help but keeping the battle at bay, you matter too.
You are the military’s equivalent of chaplains and the chefs and the mechanics and logisticians who may not wield a gun in battle but are very, very important.
You too are mission critical.
We are important in this fight.
I remember right after Eric commissioned, we were still living long distance, I went to dinner with a dear friend. I remember telling her how afraid I was of a life dedicated to war. She reminded me that in the life we lead, I may never get credit, but I was still very, very important.
That reminder still to this day makes all the difference.
So I’m here to tell you this.
We are at war.
You may not be a health care professional.
But you do what you do because it is important, and because it is right.
You may do these things without credit, without being remembered, without recognition in this fight.
But if there’s anything I have learned about war, it’s that not all soldiers wield guns.
But you, like them, are very very important.