Join guest writer Jackie Hawkins as she shares about Giving Honor Where it is Due: Celebrating the Military Family. 

Giving Honor Where it is Due: Celebrating the Military Family

by Jacqueline Hawkins

Being the wife of a retired serviceman, I know firsthand the sacrifices military service men and women and their families make every day. If you are a military family, know you are strength in motion; you are courageous, resilient, tenacious, and unforgettable. You are unique. I salute you! Compared to the total population, you are few but mighty, and I will gladly stand up next to you any time, cheering you on as you stand for me in the fight for freedom. 

Giving Honor

Military families, you inspire me as I watch you serve our nation. I am so proud of you! You make me smile. I resolve to do everything I can to support you. Proverbs 3:27 ESV says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when in your power to do so.” You are due all the good, and I aim to seek opportunities to serve and honor you. 

We all have different things we are thankful for, but the one thing that should be on our lists is thanking  God for the military service men and women and their families. Military families are essential for homeland security and must be honored and celebrated. The freedoms we enjoy in America are because of them. The military family is critical to military readiness. I speak as one who has been where you are.

My Military Family 

I graduated in May 1971, married in October 1972, and my husband enlisted in the spring of 72. I had our first child on July 20, 1973. My husband’s first duty station was overseas, and when I found out I was pregnant, my mother said, “No way I should go with him. What did we know about a baby?” I listened to Mama. My husband saw our son for the first time when he was a month old. That was the only time we were separated in our military career. 

 After the birth of our son, I completed a one-year licensed vocational nursing training. I had two years of college, but with a baby, my mother suggested I join her in the LVN program. This was wise advice because after my husband finished his initial military obligation, he separated from the military to return and finish college. He, too, had two years of college before enlisting. Watching my work as an LVN, my husband changed his major from biochemistry to nursing. He worked part-time, and I worked full-time, taking a course here and there, majoring in nursing. 

Once he graduated, I went back to school full-time. I graduated with my bachelor of science in nursing in May 81 after delivering our 2nd child on April 9. It was all God because my instructors arranged my last year with my due date in mind. It was like the nursing instructors, and I were having a baby. Another cool thing is that my husband and I graduated from the same college, so it was indeed a family affair! 

My husband returned to active duty after working in the civilian sector, and we are so glad we did. I am so glad God knew we would do what we did and ordered our steps accordingly, and we give all glory to Himself. People around us didn’t think we would make it, that our marriage would not last five years. We celebrated fifty years of marriage last year; there is a God!

I see our nursing degrees and the first three years in the military as God’s preparation for us to become an active-duty military family again. This time, we had a clue, and with our life experiences, we would help young servicemen and women who were just like us when my husband enlisted for the first time. We loved mentoring and being there for young military families, and we still do with our time and resources. We know the struggle, which is real, but so is God.

Honor the Different Seasons

Yes, we made it, but  I appreciate the concept in Ecclesiastes, chapter three, that there is a season for everything under heaven.  Be mindful of life’s seasons. Things are more challenging but possible when we get life seasons out of order. Prepare for change before making a change. Take it from me: if you get ahead or behind the seasons of life, you can still achieve your dreams; it may be more challenging and take longer. 

I am learning not to say things would have been easier or better if we had our education before starting a family right away, but rather, it would have been simply different. I love my life, and I can’t imagine it being any other way; it is true; things always work out best for those who make the best of how things work out regardless of what season of life you are in regarding your military life. Make the best of it and know that God, so lovingly, is ordering our steps and rerouting your missteps for His glory if you love and know Him. If you don’t know Him, run to Him. He knows you and is waiting for you with open arms!

Celebrating You as You Stay the Course

God is more significant than anything, even those things that threaten to tear us apart. He is bigger than the challenges, the setbacks, those moments when you are doing all you can, and things still fall apart when all your hopes and dreams seem to have fallen on the floor, and it seems all is lost. Stay the course. Hang in here. In God’s hands, nothing is for naught. You will come forth stronger, wiser, better as a person, a citizen, and the hope of our nation. 

Military families are a cut above! You would not be where you are if you were not. My husband and I have talked with many who washed out or wished they could be in the armed forces. It’s not just a slogan; you can be all you can be, so do it.  You certainly can’t be of any use where you are not. Settle in and stay the course. My husband and I are depending on you. We are passing the baton to you. Run well, military families! You were built for this for such a time as this. We celebrate you!

Closing Prayer

Thank You, God, for our military families and all they do. Help their communities to love on them whenever the opportunity arises, not just in November but year-round. May our nation seek opportunities for “hands-on” support of the military families by being “boots on the ground” for them. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen. 

Meet the Author
Jacqueline Hawkins is the
proud wife of a retired serviceman, mother of three children, and grandmother of four. She enjoys giving honor where it is due by celebrating the military family. 

Notes and Resources

  1. Click here to see our Month of the Military Child Resource. 
  2. Click here to see our Women’s History Month Resource List.
  3. Click here to see our Heart Healthy Relationship Resource List.
  4. Click here to see our Women’s Empowerment Resource List.
  5. Check out this post if you want a reminder of what our Faith Full Friday series is all about.