It’s Thursday. The day of the week we are supposed to share memories and photographs from the past and hashtag them as #throwbackthursday or #tbt. But today, July 16, 2015 in beautiful Chattanooga, TN as a result of the horrific attacks of one man – we mourn.
I am the proud wife of an American Soldier who has served (and continues to serve) our great country for over 17 years. It is one of my greatest honors and I am so privileged to be wed to such a kind, brave, strong, Jesus-loving soul as my husband. We have many, many military friends and loved ones. We know people who were on location and some that should have been. Some, who for reasons I will never know, God decided to orchestrate their steps so that they would not be there at that moment, in the line of fire. My best friend of 14 years has a son that recently joined the Marines and should have been in that recruiting office this morning: at the time of the shooting! She just “had a feeling” they needed to leave a couple of days early for their trip out of town.
As a wife of a soldier in the Reserves who also is a DOD employee here in Chattanooga whose location was on lock-down today and is now safe at home with his family – I will not even pretend or attempt to say that I know what the families are experiencing that lost loved ones. My mind cannot contain the deep grief, disbelief, and anger they must be battling, barely coming up for air. All I can share are my thoughts as a military spouse who is tied to the hearts of other military spouses. Who can barely contain the confusion and brokenness she feels for those hurting tonight. These are Marines with families who serve right here in my city. I used to run 2-3 times a week right past where those precious, brave Marines were murdered today. My husband has been in that location numerous times and has friends there. They were on U.S. SOIL!!!! We spouses pray and fear when our beloveds are at war during deployments, but we should not have to fear what could happen to them here at home. IT BREAKS MY HEART PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! Please, please pray for our city and all of those impacted by this tragedy.
Something that really shakes me is the fact that Reserve centers do not have the protections that Active Duty stations do. We recently vacationed via an MWR cabin on an active duty post and there were ALWAYS armed guards at the entrance/exits. MPs patrolled the streets – protection abounded. This is the case for all the military locations we have traveled to: Army, Air Force, and Navy – the gates were always protected.
Reserve centers are gun-free zones. That means law-abiding citizens cannot have guns on the premises. These are our soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen and they are NOT allowed to protect themselves while at these locations. Why are there no armed guards at these local Reserve stations? They are NO LESS important than the active duty personnel…so why are they left unprotected? I’m so hurt and angry that this happened. If they could have been armed, I confidently believe that there would not have been four deaths of beloved Marines today. Sure, I cannot say that none would have been wounded or been harmed, potentially lost – but I am absolutely confident all four of these precious souls would not have been taken today if they were allowed to carry weapons. They were unarmed and attacked by a gunman with no warning and in what seems like moments – their lives were ended.
God bless you sweet, courageous souls. You are so precious, so loved, and so missed.
We will not forget you.
Praying for my city, and the families tonight. Please join us. #ChattanoogaStrong #NoogaStrong #PrayForChattanooga
Trust in HIM at all times, you people; pour out your heart before HIM; GOD is a REFUGE for US. Psalm 62:8
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in GOD, for I shall again praise HIM for the help of HIS presence. Psalm 42:5
YOU are my lamp, O LORD, the LORD turns my darkness into light. 2 Samuel 22:29
Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] John 14:27 (AMP)
My fellow Chattanoogans: We will not live in fear. We will find healing. We will find peace and joy will return. Our hope, life, joy, and peace come from the LORD. And NOTHING can take that away. (Romans 8:35-39)
I have shared my opinion on the 2nd amendment rights and how I feel regarding the lack of protection that exists at Reserve Centers. I realize some may disagree with my thoughts and that of other readers. I ask that you please be respectful in your comments if you post any here. We are all entitled to our opinions and I ask that my readers be kind, and civil in their interactions.
All of these beautiful photos were captured from Facebook today from a variety of persons/sources. Because the same photos have been posted by so many individuals, I cannot attribute the credit to the original creator but want to note that I do not claim ownership of such photos. If one of these photos are yours, please comment and I will gladly update them, citing your ownership or delete at your request.