Today a friend of mine had a photo featured on the Pioneer Woman\’s website. She was looking for submissions for a photo contest with the category of military homecomings. You can view the pictures here. Noel’s picture is the eighth one down. Military service is so near and dear to my heart because I am fully appreciative of the sacrifice and service that are meted out on the behalf of myself, my family, and my country.

In scrolling through the pictures submitted to the contest, I was struck by the number of “homecoming” pictures represented by a gravestone or a casket. Understanding and honoring the sacrifice represented here is something I want to pass on to my children. America is just made up of people and while not all are great or good, learning to live in the service of others–without counting the cost, is what will give my children a chance to make America great.