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Our nation is not united about much presently, but one thing that most Americans respect, and honor are our veterans.  Because they put their lives on the line when they agree to serve in our military, we realize the sacrifice of leaving spouse, children, friends, and jobs behind to sometimes face enemies seeking to destroy our country or our interests.

Sadly, when these men and women return from duty assignments that may well be life altering emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, functionally, and relationally, they may face additional disappointments in discovering that our government and private agencies do not always provide adequate or effective programs, benefits, counseling, or avenues to be gainfully employed once they return. Bureaucracy can stifle one’s swift re-integration into civilian life.

What if you had to prove that you were alive? It might not be as easy as you think. It was nearly impossible for John Crabtree.

John was Vietnam veteran and one day out of the blue he got an official notification from the government that he was now dead, and that because he was dead, he would receive no more benefits. John made several attempts to prove that he was alive.

He wrote the government a letter stating that he was very much alive and that he would very much like to continue receiving his benefits.

The letter didn’t work.  He got a letter back stating that he was very much dead and that whoever was writing this letter had best stop trying to mess with the United States government!

John then tried to call the government.

Have you ever tried to call the government? Needless to say, that didn’t work either.

Finally, as a last resort, John contacted a local television station and they ran a human-interest story on John’s situation.

During the interview the reporter asked John, “How do you feel about this ordeal?”

John laughed and said, “I feel a little frustrated by it, after all, have you ever tried to prove you’re alive?”  (Copied).

Those who have fought to preserve our liberty deserve our honor, praise, and thanks.  Many times, I have heard veterans say that he best way to thank them and honor them would be to live lives that are responsibly defending and guarding freedom at home.  How?  By steadfastly speaking, living, and making sure that we do not abuse any freedom, diminish its free exercise, or seek to remove freedom’s rights to use liberty for honorable goals. Our military personnel fought to give us the liberty to do what we ought and not what we want to do.

It was an Irish lawyer and politician, John Philpot Curran  in a speech in Dublin on July 10, 1790,   The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” May God help us to honor our Vets and be ever vigilant in defending the precious gift of freedom!