It really is the children who suffer most during the military career. Despite the fact that I have been as involved a father as I know how, I know right now that I’m not giving them what other fathers can. There is a unity that they can’t see between my wife and I, though I try to show them what I can, and there is a presence they can’t always see in their lives. It is a simple fact that there is only so much I can do to show them how involved I am in their lives.
At times I go days without contacting them directly while on deployment. I’m grateful for what I do have, however, as it is so much more than the fathers who deployed before my time. Yet there is more I wish I could do. This career is a minefield of missed opportunities and broken promises. I’ve learned to be careful about making promises. It’s too easy to not deliver.
So we take a few moments today to pray for the children, particularly of deployed service members, but really children of any service member. We pray because the stresses are different, the possible pain is different, and the future is different.
In praying for the service member, we must understand that many times we are praying for a unit, a family man or woman who has a spouse and children. It is those children who need us badly. And so we pray.
Children are some of the greatest gifts you’ve given to us as a people. They bring us joy and they challenge us, but above it all, they are gifts from you. Today we pray for the impact a military life makes on them. We pray that the deployed member will stay present in their lives and remain in communication as best as he or she can. The kids need you, dear Father, and they need their service member. Today we pray they get both!
In your son’s name,