Wednesday, May 23, 2012

honoring soldiers with my preschooler

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a few streets down from ours is a street that has been honorarily named after a local soldier that was killed by an IED in Afghanistan.  the Sgt's family lives on the street and keeps a cross and a flag at the bottom of the street sign.  every time we drive past it, i think of this young man...someone's son...who gave his life so my son could live safely.

last month, i was doing some spring cleaning of the garage and came across some plastic flower crosses that we've had forever.  i shared with Bear what i thought we could do with them and he liked the idea. 

the next time we ran an errand, we stopped at the Sgt's street.  Bear helped me to stick the cross in the ground.  he also picked a dandelion for the soldier {see pic above}. 

there are things what we can randomly do with our children to help them develop their patriotism and a reverence for those who fight daily for our country.  we needn't wait until Memorial Day to honor those who've fallen in battle.  explanations don't have to be graphic or too in-depth.  since Bear's dad is military, we've explained to him that there are very brave soldiers in our country and in other countries that keep us safe.

because we live in a military community, it's common for us to run into active duty and veterans.  if they happen to be wearing a veteran's hat or something else to identify them as a vet, we point the person out to Bear.  usually on his own, he goes and says, "thank you for being a soldier." his little voice saying this never fails to bring tears to my eyes.  most of the ones he's thanked have reacted with surprise that quickly changes to a grateful, warm smile.  

i want to help my son learn ways to reach out to others in appreciation, compassion, and in reflection of God's love.  this is just another lesson on that journey.  sometimes, it doesn't take much to touch the heart of another. and i can only hope, that the Sgt's mother passes our cross on her way to work, the grocery store, wherever.  i hope that she sees it and realizes that someone else remembers the incredible gift her son gave our country.


 
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14 comments:

Bethany @ A Fish Who Likes Flowers said...

I think that's wonderful that you are teaching your son about the sacrifices of others to keep him safe. He'll grow up to value others, and himself in the process. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

Gina said...

Oh my goodness, I've got chills. That is the sweetest thing and such an important lesson you are teaching your son.

Alison said...

What a nice thing to do. There does not seem to be the same pride among veterans in the UK. One of my good friends hubby is an Army veteran and he does not talk about it.

My two are very lucky to have my Grandparents to tell them stories about WW2, my Grandad was in the RAF in Africa and my Granny in the WAAF (Womens Auxilluary Air Force) in charge of catering for some Canadian and American Service men in the North of Scotland! They have fantastic stories to tell.
Alison
x

Janine LaTulippe said...

Although I have a lot of military friends and family, this post is so much more meaningful to me now that I have a Son. To think of letting him go to fight people who want to kill him makes my stomach turn, but so many have made that ultimate sacrifice! That was such a thoughtful thing for you to do. It really is the little things that give people hope and joy. I am sure that the Sgt's mother was touched by your kind gesture. Thanks for sharing and reminding me to be thankful for those who are keeping us safe.

MaryAnne K said...

This is lovely. I'm sure the mother was touched, and it is a beautiful lesson in sacrifice and compassion for your son.

Gummy Lump said...

I think this post was beautiful :)

Kimberly Sminkey said...

you and bear have beautiful hearts my dear... this is so touching especially since my nephew just entered the Air Force, I am incredibly proud but at the same time scared for him. what an amazing random act of kindness that will definately touch that family!

Susan Case said...

Wonderful post! So glad you are helping your children learn patriotism.

Rebekah said...

You have such a beautiful heart, Andie, and it warms mine to see you teaching your son the lessons of the heart.

Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories said...

Such a wonderful lesson, Andie - so sweet and caring. People in military and their families sacrifice a lot and deserve recognition and remembrance.

Congrats on being featured on the DailyBuzz Moms Top 9. :)

Debs- Learn with Play @ home said...

Beautiful :) I'm featuring this post on my weekly kid's co-op roundup which will be up soon... not that you'd need to grab the button, lol!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this beautiful post. It makes my heart happy when people do care about our military families. I feel like we (military families) are really forgotten about much of the time. People don't seem to like to talk about what is going on with the military and how many people have died since the war started. It's sad, I know... but it is reality for so many of us. Trust me, it means SO much when people show just a little bit of gratitude for the sacrifices made by our servicemembers and their families.

PlayDrMom said...

This is beautiful. Thanks for posting and sharing it on this week's Kid Co-Op linky.

Tara @ Tales of a Trophy Wife said...

My hubbies in the USAF and he was in uniform at the kids school this week. A little girl stopped him and said, "Thanks for fighting".

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