The Power of Encouragement for Our Military
April 1, 2022
Encouraging words can go a long way to make an impact on our service members. Learn how important these words can be from guest blogger, Brent Longnecker.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues but the patent of all others.” – Cicero
For civilians, in this great country of ours, it can be easy to forget the value and sacrifices our military has made, is making, and will continue to make in the future for us and all we hold dear. And for our U.S. military—heroes all, past, present, and future – it may feel at times that the world does not appreciate and value you, as it should. As a matter of fact, you may at times feel… INVISIBLE.
BUT YOU ARE VALUED and APPRECIATED. And rest assured, you are not, nor will you ever be… invisible.
Having an Attitude of Gratitude should not be a challenge for any of us that get to live in the “Home of the brave and land of the free.” It should be an easy choice and resonate inside our DNA for the freedoms we have in this ever-changing and dangerous environment we now are living in. Freedoms that we should never take for granted; freedoms that can be categorized as:
- Freedom of Speech
- Freedom of Expression
- Freedom from Fear
- Freedom from Want
Freedom, in general, is an inalienable right… and for us in the U.S., it’s Constitutional. How can our military be “invisible” and not valued when their role is to ensure Americans have these FREEDOMS? They even protect the freedoms of speech and expression when those that they protect speak out and protest against them! Amazing, when you think about that! We may not be perfect as a nation, but our military makes us the very best of the best. And then there is the freedom from fear – whether the threat comes from bad, non-state actors, unstable regimes, or resurgent global powers looking to their past and wanting it back again—regardless of the consequence. Plus, the same is true for keeping us free from want to ensure that trade, energy, food, and commerce are not at risk. Add to that, the COVID environment in which we are living and the activated troops who have been supporting that. Our military is as valuable as it has ever been.
Bottom line, if anyone ever deserved ENCOURAGEMENT, it is our military!!
What they, our military INVESTS in us as a nation is priceless: Their time from loved ones; along with their physical, emotional, financial, and psychological “investments” in our country. For that, we should all stand up and do our part to encourage, educate, provide aid and comfort, and most of all encouragement to show them they are VALUED!
John Kennedy once said:
“Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.”
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget the highest appreciation is not to just utter words, but to live by them.”
My name is Brent Longnecker and I’m now blessed to be part of the Soldiers Angels TEAM! Soldiers’ Angels’ mission is to provide aid, comfort, and resources to deployed military, veterans, and their families. Soldiers’ Angels is an amazing nonprofit organization that garnered 4 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator. They also earned top rankings in both financial management and accountability and transparency. What that all means is they are passionate and disciplined in their mission. There is no waste… only a desire to maximize the resources they must bless our men and women that are part of the U.S. Armed Forces. I have recently been accepted into the Soldiers’ Angels team as a blog contributor. I enjoy writing. So, it is my honor and privilege to do so for them, you, and our U.S. military and Armed Forces – both here and abroad. Whether you are deployed, wounded, a veteran or the families of these brave men and women, I pray I can contribute and make a difference.
Our words and our actions either encourage or discourage others—there is no middle ground. The words spoken into our lives have a tremendous amount of impact on where we will be, tomorrow. When we ENCOURAGE, we are, in essence, imparting courage which I find amazing since the goal of this article is to impart “more courage to the most courageous”. Further, positive words and actions are sometimes very difficult to remember, while negative words and actions are actually very hard to forget. A long time ago, I heard a psychologist state that “it takes 10 words of encouragement to make up for one of discouragement.” WOW! Bottom-line, if you are living and breathing, we all need encouragement. And if you are part of our U.S. military, Soldiers’ Angels would like to make sure you receive it – ten-fold!
Think about it… without encouragement, life could soon feel pointless and burdensome. Without encouragement, we could be overwhelmed by the very real and perceived pains of our lives. Without encouragement, we can quickly feel undervalued. Without encouragement, we can begin to think only internally of ourselves and never think outside ourselves to bless others and use the talents we have been given to make a difference.
The word “encouragement” also has an interesting etymology worth sharing. Specifically:
From Middle English encouragen, encoragen, from Anglo-Norman encoragier, from Old French encoragi. Roots are in the 15th century. Its original meaning was “to foster, give help or patronage. To mentally support; to motivate, give courage, hope or spirit… To spur on, strongly recommend.”
We ALL need encouragement!! That, we must all agree on. Plus, never a bad day when two allies help put a great word together.
Interestingly, when I was researching the roots of the word “encourage”, I was struck with how important the word was back then around “giving courage” and “to motivate”. The 15th century! I went back and counted sixty different wars during that century. 60! Then, as I cross-referenced it against viruses at the time, guess what had everyone’s attention while wars were everywhere? The black plague. As I thought about that and about how key those words are today, I wondered about the impact COVID has/is having on our geopolitical front— where our troops are always ready to go and defend.
It’s time we give it and more to our military…to those deployed, wounded, a veteran and/or families. Will you join us? Learn more about our virtual volunteer opportunities here.
Remember, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston S. Churchill