Honoring Our Veterans and Current Military
Many heroes wrestling with post-traumatic stress do not like being in crowds. Many heroes also suffer from injury-related and/or age-related mobility issues. Therefore, we are hosting another Virtual Parade for Heroes this Veterans Day so that every hero can be honored.
Will you join us as we do? Our Virtual Parades for Heroes have been a very effective way to honor and thank those who served. In this way, we can ensure that invisible wounds and other injuries do not prevent the opportunity for heroes to be included. We want to give credit where credit is due! If you served or if your loved one served, send us their pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include them in the Virtual Parade for Heroes.
Veterans Day 2021 and our end-of-the-year outreaches will be extra special this year. We are partnering with Project Pillows of One Touch Awakening. After the horrific living nightmares experienced by heroes who served in Afghanistan in particular, we feel strongly about reaching out in a way that helps them have reminders of our prayers when they sleep: Project Pillows of One Touch Awakening will send a pillow to a hero. It is a beautiful way to remind our heroes that we're praying for them and that America has not forgotten them. Send your loved one's name and address to us at email@example.com and we will connect with Project Pillows who will send them a pillow.
In addition to the aforementioned, reach out to our nation's heroes and get ready for Veterans Day now. Send them cards of thanks, call them, stop by with dinner or have it delivered. Just do something.
Now is a critical time to honor our heroes and to pray for our nation. We must not give up. God bless you,Carrie Stoelting and Stacie Stoelting HudzinskiSisters and founders of Unite the USA
Featured Bible Verse
2021 Veterans Day Virtual Parade for Heroes
We need to encourage and support our veterans and current servicemen and women more than ever. Many heroes wrestling with post-traumatic stress do not like being in crowds. Many heroes also suffer from injury-related and/or age-related mobility issues. Therefore, we are hosting another Virtual Parade for Heroes this Veterans Day so that every hero can be honored. We are planning another virtual parade to honor our heroes this Veterans Day.
To be included in our next Virtual Parade of Heroes, please e-mail us the hero’s name, picture, and service information by November 9 to firstname.lastname@example.org. The virtual parade will then be published near Veterans Day in an online musical video virtual parade and you will be notified of its publication by e-mail.
We appreciate being able honor heroes. It means so much to us to have this opportunity to give credit where credit is due!
God bless you,Carrie and Stacie
Sending Pillows to Our Nation's Heroes
Project Pillows volunteers are thankful for an opportunity to support our troops in a tangible way. We meet to assemble care packages, mindful of the difference these make when they arrive in the war zone.
Sending a hug with every pillow...“Every pillow I put into a box to mail, I sent a hug with it. The whole time I was working on these, I kept thinking we are packing these boxes and the next person who opens them will be a soldier who is fighting for our freedom.” – Becky, Project Pillows volunteer
Unite the USA's
Featured Veteran of the Month: Sammy Davis
Was Afghanistan worth it? Decorated combat veteran answers
My Faith Votes recently sat down with Don Bentley to discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan after the grossly mishandled withdrawal of American troops from the country.
Bentley is an Afghanistan combat veteran and a retired Army Apache helicopter pilot. For his service, he was awarded the Air Medal with “V” device for valor, the Combat Action Badge and the Bronze Star Medal. Following his military service, Bentley worked as an FBI Special Agent and as a SWAT team member. He is the author of the Matt Drake trilogy and the New York Times bestselling author of “Target Acquired: A Jack Ryan, Jr. Novel,” continuing the story set in motion by the late Tom Clancy.
This conversation has been edited for clarity and length. You can watch the full conversation at My Faith Votes here.
Q. You recently wrote an op-ed titled “Was It Worth It?” in response to the troop withdrawal and the ensuing crisis in Afghanistan. I know you wrote that from the perspective of someone who’s been there. Did you arrive at an answer to your question?
I was an Apache pilot in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006. I flew into the Kabul airport hundreds of times, and so I know that area very, very well. To see what was happening there, to see Afghans who would rather try and hang on to the landing gear of a C-17 — probably knowing that it’s certain death — rather than face the Taliban, to see mothers take their children and hand them off to strangers rather than face the Taliban, it just rips something inside of me. And when you see it fall apart, when you see what’s happening there right now, it really shakes your soul and it makes you ask that question: Was it worth it?
My oldest son is a sophomore in college. He wants to be a Marine officer when he graduates. As a father looking at a generational war thinking, “My son, who was born after Sept. 11, could potentially go back to Afghanistan,” you start seeing things in a completely different light and saying, “Was it worth it?” It’s hard to answer that question right now, especially with everything falling down around us. Was the original push into Afghanistan worth it? Absolutely. Do I think that the people who sacrificed their blood did so in vain? No, I absolutely don’t think they did.
But I can’t help but look at what’s happening now and think, “You know what? We were the ones who deployed to Afghanistan.”
About 800,000 people deployed to Afghanistan. We live in a nation of 330 million. That’s less than a quarter of a percent that bore that weight for 20 years, often multiple tours of duty while doing it. Those of us that did that were owed a better outcome than this. We were owed a better outcome than watching people fall off C-17s as they flew out of the Kabul airport.
So was it worth it? I hope so.
Q. What would you want to hear military or political leaders say to those who have lost family or friends?
What we have right now is not a failure of military capability but a failure of political will. I wish our political leaders would understand that Americans don't sign up to join the military to be safe. They sign up to do a job. And putting them in Afghanistan in harm's way is what they signed up to do if they're going out to do their mission. If our political leadership would be decisive and have our folks go out and do what they would do, Americans would back that because we don’t leave people behind.
That is the solemn vow that America makes to its sons and daughters that go into harm’s way: We will not leave you behind. That applies to our civilians, to the Afghans that stood up and are now being hunted down for the sole crime of helping Americans. To think that we would leave our own countrymen and women or those people who bled on our behalf behind is just disgraceful.
Q. On Sept. 1, you called people to prayer via Facebook. You kept it very simple and focused on the Lord's Prayer. Why did you choose to focus on the Lord's Prayer?
I chose the Lord's Prayer for a couple of different reasons. Number one, I wanted people to feel like wherever they were, no matter where they were on their faith journey, no matter what their faith tradition is like, that they could take part in this. I love the Lord's Prayer because even Jesus’s disciples struggled with how to pray and what to say, and when they asked him, “How do we pray?” he gave them this very simple prayer, almost a poem: the Lord's Prayer.
When I do my devotions every morning, a lot of times I'll start with that. When I'm at a point in my life where I don't know what to say, when I don't have the words to convey what's going on in my heart, I often default to the Lord's Prayer.
We’re helpless in that we’re not in Afghanistan, but there's something that we can do: pray. It doesn't depend in that moment in time on a faith tradition, on a political leaning, just a reflection that, as
Americans, we know that we have sons and daughters and brothers and sisters who are in harm's way. And 13 families just became Gold Star families. That’s why I did it.