“Look for Ways to Serve a Veteran” – Will Bell Writes in Jackson Sun

November 18th, 2013  



Will Bell, who served 21 years in the Army on active duty and with the active reserve, contributed the following column to the Jackson Sun…………..



I am a veteran having served a combined twenty-one (21) years of active duty Army and active Army Reserve.  When I wear a certain lapel pin, or stand during patriotic events where military service is recognized, I frequently am given a thanks for my service.   All veterans appreciate the thanks and recognition.

            I am one of the fortunate veterans who was never injured and never had to leave a family behind.  However, there are a number of veterans locally that have service- related disabilities, as well as a number of local active National Guard members and Army Reservists who have been sent overseas and had to leave their families behind.

            With tomorrow being Veterans Day, I am pleased to have the opportunity to address the students at Trinity Christian Academy about Veterans Day.  My focus in the Veterans Day talk will be on ways students can serve veterans and families of deployed military members as a way to thank those who have served and are serving our country.

            I think that there is a strong parallel between the ministry of Jesus Christ reflected in the Bible and the service of the military member.  Jesus taught us in John 15:12-13 that: “My command is this.  Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  Just as Jesus died for our souls, the American soldier died for our freedom.

            We should seek ways to serve our military veterans and families of service members overseas. Christians know that faith in Jesus Christ is the way to salvation, but the Book of James tells us that “faith by itself if not accompanied by action is dead.  Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do.”

            Students at Trinity Christian Academy, as well as the community of Jackson, can find many ways to show their faith by deeds of serving military veterans and families of service members on active duty overseas.  Seek out opportunities on your own.  If you have friends or neighbors who are disabled veterans, give them a ride, help them at the grocery store, or rake their leaves this fall.  Opportunities also exist through the local VFW Posts.  A great service project for a school club would be to visit the Veterans Home in Humboldt and  provide some form of program or entertainment, thank them for their service on Thanksgiving Day, or sing Christmas carols during December.  To assist families of services members overseas, you can send care packages for the holidays.  You can send letters of support, thanks, and encouragement.  You can volunteer to help families here at home.  Contact Eddie P. Long, Tennessee National Guard Family Readiness Support Assistant, at (731) 421-8637, or Terry Black, Tennessee National Guard Family Assistance Specialist, at (731) 421-8617.  They can provide specifics of what active service personnel need in care packages and what assistance families need.

A national organization you can contact is Soldiers’ Angels.  Soldiers’ Angels is an organization that was begun in 2003 by the mothers of two American soldiers.  “May No Solider Go Unloved” encapsulates the motto behind Soldiers’ Angels.  The volunteers of Soldiers’ Angels work to provide active care and comfort to military veterans, the wounded and deployed service members and their families.  Contact Soldiers’ Angels at soldiersangels.org.

Thank you Trinity Christian Academy and other organizations for your recognition of veterans and the long standing Veterans Day Program that Trinity Christian Academy conducts.  These recognitions and efforts remind me of the quote from President John Kennedy:  “A nation reveals itself not only by the people it produces, but also by the people it remembers.”

God Bless Veterans, God Bless West Tennessee, and God Bless the USA!