Remembering the veterans

by Dennis Coday

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We can't let this Veteran's Day come to a close without drawing your attention to a series of stories written by NCR contributor Judy Gross. Earlier this fall, Judy's piece Spiritual leaders in the battle zones about military chaplains appeared (subhead: Deployed and stateside, military chaplains minister amid myriad pressures).

Judy's next piece in the series is about military families and will appear in the Nov. 26 print issue. A taste:

They wait. Wives and husbands, children, siblings, parents. They wait, hoping, praying, the knock on the door never comes — the knock that means their loved ones are coming home for the final time in a flag-draped casket. So many families have seen the men and women they love go off to war over and over, in the longest wars the United States has ever fought.

Iraq and Afghanistan: nine years and counting of seemingly endless and brutal wars. Stories of casualties in faraway countries are broadcast almost daily in the media. Unless one hits close to home, news of the war dead or wounded is digested with other routine news of the day. Less frequently featured are the families of the deployed. Many quietly endure, making the best of a difficult and painful situation without their family member. The military has recognized that supporting families of the deployed is essential in keeping troops focused on their mission.

So has the church.

Judy's last piece in the series focuses on women veterans.

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