A Special Thank You To Our Military Members

A Special Thank You To Our Military Members

I've said it before, but I'm saying it again.
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Today, as I write this, it's Veteran's Day. Veteran's Day is an important date, not only to our nation, but to many people in their personal lives. Millions of people know someone, or are related to someone, who served/is serving/will serve. For me, my papa served in the Korean War as part of the Air Force and was stationed in Japan. I have stories of him telling me how he came back from serving, talked to his grandmother- who spoke Polish and very little, broken English -- in Japanese the entire time. Also, my cousin who served in the Air Force as well. My boyfriend is also serving in the Navy and will be leaving for his first deployment soon. Not only that, but people that I went to school with are now in the military.

The bottom line is, almost everyone knows someone in the military. I didn't realize how many people I knew until this year. But, this year, I want to give a special thank you. Now that it affects me so personally, I need to give a major thank you, but I also feel the need to talk about how much we value them as people- not just soldiers.

So, to all the service men and women -- thank you. Thank you to those who enlisted when they were in high school and decided to risk their lives before it began for most of us. Thank you to those who enlisted to support their families. Thank you to those who enlisted because they wanted to gain an education, but had no means of paying for college. Thank you to those who enlisted because they felt like they wanted to make a change in our country. Thank you to those who enlisted because they felt the desire to protect our country. Thank you to everyone who felt the call and joined.

You are valued for your work and you will always be. There's nothing that can take that away from you. What you have to go through is not easy- every medal and rank you earned because you worked for it. Being away from home, and sometimes feeling like you don't have a home, isn't easy. Not being able to communicate with your family or loved ones for long periods of time isn't easy and takes a toll on you; so does not getting to see them either. Physically what you go through isn't easy and isn't something that everyone can do. But, you somehow managed to get through all these mental and physical difficulties.

Secondly, you will ALWAYS be valued as a person. You will almost always have the hardest time transitioning into civilian life whether you're on leave, discharging, or even just leaving the base. You will always have a certain way of doing things- folding clothes, cleaning, sleeping, etc. that most won't be able to understand. You will always have memories of things that happened that you can't get rid of. You will probably struggle more find love or maintain a romantic relationship. But, trust me you will find someone who values you as a person and not for your uniform, there are people who don't cheat, and those of you who go into the military while in a relationship- if you want it to work, you'll make sure it does and they'll make sure it does as well.

I know I'm not in the military and I will never be able to imagine what you go through. I know even saying these things, I may be wrong in saying. But, just know your service is always valued and that we will never forget that, but you as a person is also valued. Thank you for everything you do and for your service. While benefits for you when you leave the military isn't the best and needs work (such as better healthcare, housing, and a job) -- those are things people realize need work and want to fight to get for those who are done serving. You deserve nothing than the best, and we are all so appreciative of the sacrifices you make and what you do for our country. You put your life on the line, so our's can be free. So, for those serving at home and overseas, young and old, man or woman -- thank you.

Cover Image Credit: USA Today College

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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