Cause for celebration

From The Pastor’s Pen – By Brian Horrobin

You may have woken up today already looking ahead to all the festivities which will mark our nation’s birthday, its 157th, to be exact.

You may have plans to attend a fireworks display with your family to mark this momentous occasion.

There will likely be a whole lot of people there, but some may be conspicuously absent.

I am talking about our nation’s veterans who suffer from what’s known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD for short.

You see, a fireworks display, with all the explosions and dramatic sights, closely mimics the noise of the battlefield and can trigger a horrific flashback to the veteran’s tour of duty.

These flashback reactions can be quite violent and adversely affect not only the veteran suffering from PTSD, but also their loved ones.

Our nation’s birthday is a fitting time for us to give God thanks for the men and women of uniform who have served our country in years past in the Second World War, the Korean Conflict, as well as the various peacekeeping missions around the globe.

Many of these brave folks live in our community, while others are currently on duty helping to protect our country’s borders, as well as the borders of other war-torn countries of the world.

My father served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, spending most of his time in London, England.

He used to tell me of the nightly bombings of England and the incessant air raid sirens that pierced the night air.

A chaplain had given him a Gideons New Testament and he took solace in the words of Psalm 91:1: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

My father never talked about any struggles with flashbacks, but that does not mean he did not have them.

These issues are being better addressed in our time so that we can understand a little bit better what our veterans deal with when they return home from the battlefield.

Take a little time this Canada Day to thank the Lord for our country’s military, and then pray and ask God to protect them while they serve, and to heal the hurts they will face when they return.

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