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Cover 41


January 2012

Dare to Disciple


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Free Will Baptist

Thank You for Your Service

Thank You for Your Service

By Chaplain (MAJ) David Trogdon

We have all seen cars with yellow ribbons reading, “Support Our Troops.” If you have a yellow ribbon on your car, and you “Support our Troops,” I would like to thank you for your support and for your prayers. I am an “old soldier” and remember a time when we were not allowed to wear our uniforms in public places because our service was not appreciated. Now, I often enjoy the blessings of being appreciated and often hear “thank you for your service.” I will never forget the tears that came to my eyes when we received a standing ovation at the Atlanta airport as we exited our plane for R&R during a 15-month tour in Iraq.

I am always blessed and humbled when someone sees my uniform and thanks me for my service. I am always blessed because I see how appreciative people really are, and how much they really do support us. I am always humbled because I am a chaplain and soldier only by the grace of God. God and Free Will Baptists have provided me the wonderful blessing of serving soldiers and their families. So, I would like to take this opportunity to say, “Thank you for your service!”

While I am thankful for the support and appreciation our soldiers receive, there are some heroes who often go unnoticed. They go unnoticed because they don’t wear a military uniform. They may never deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan, but they are heroes just the same. These unknown heroes are military families. They are true heroes for so many reasons. They follow us around the world as we move every two or three years. They endure with multiple long deployments and long separations. I have been separated from my family for 3.5 out of the last 10 years. This is not unusual for a military family. They endure many hardships and sacrifices that so often accompany military life.

In many ways, it is easier for the soldier than for the spouse and children left behind. Imagine being separated from your spouse for 12-15 months at a time. Imagine facing the every day fear of seeing a government sedan pull up in front of your house or flinching every time you hear the doorbell. Imagine being on the phone with your soldier during a rocket attack. Imagine wondering if you will ever see him or her alive again. Imagine living and dealing with your soldier’s TBI (traumatic brain injury), his combat stress reactions, his impatience, and his nightmares after he finally redeploys back home. Imagine living in Germany with three little ones without speaking German. All you can do is survive, all on your own, while your husband serves in Afghanistan. Imagine doing all this and still loving and supporting your Soldier.

If you are a spouse or a family member of a soldier, airmen, sailor, or marine, you most likely do not have to imagine at all. Maybe now you can see why our family members are the true heroes that deserve our appreciation and support.

The next time you see a soldier or other military member in uniform with their spouse or family at church, in a restaurant, or at the airport, don’t forget to thank the family members for their service, too. If you know a military spouse or family member who has a loved one who is deployed, don’t forget to pray for them and constantly check on them. Don’t forget about them.

Let them know you truly love them and truly support their service. They are true heroes, uniform or no uniform!


About the Writer: Chaplain Major David Trogdon is stationed at Ft. Rucker, AL. He has been a chaplain since 2000. For more information about the chaplain ministry, visit


Thank You for Your Service


Ten Easy Ways to Support Military Personnel and Their Families

  1. Send a care package:

  2. Buy a soldier lunch at a drive-through, airport, or restaurant.

  3. Pay for portraits of the soldier’s family.

  4. Send e-books or mp3 gift cards via email.

  5. Pay the cell phone bill for a month.

  6. Offer to take the kids on a special outing.

  7. Honor military families with a special service at church.

  8. Post a blog honoring a friend or family member in the military and send the link.

  9. Give them time to adjust when they return home.

  10. Pray for them faithfully and let them know you do.





©2012 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists