“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalms 56:3-4
Capt. Rosemary Mariner died on January 24th this year after battling Ovarian Cancer. She is the first female Navy pilot to command a naval aviation squadron. For the first time in history, on Feb. 2, all female pilots flew the Missing Man Flyover to honor her in her final resting place. Capt. Mariner was a pioneer for women in the military, not only was she the first female Navy pilot, she also fought for a congressional measure that lifted a ban on women serving in combat. When Rosemary joined the Navy, most women were assigned to hospital posts or clerical jobs. In 1973, when she joined, she was already a licensed pilot with a degree from Purdue University. The military didn’t know it, Rosemary might not have even known it, but times were about to change.
As of 2017, women make up 16% of active duty military. Because of Rosemary’s efforts to allow women to fight in combat, Lt. Marina A. Hierl became the first woman to command an infantry platoon in 2018 for the Marine Corps. Women have come a long way in the military, they have fought hard to be able to fight for our country. Whether or not you agree with women in combat, there are women who are so passionate about fighting for our country they have gone to rigorous lengths to have the privilege to serve. And they have given their lives, as Beverly Sue Clark did on Feb. 25th, 1991 in Afghanistan during Desert Storm. She was a bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding, serving in the reserves, called into action. She was killed with several others when a Scud missile hit their barracks. She was a daughter, a best friend, and a fiance. She died at the tender age of 23, her life had yet to begin.
In this month of kindness, let’s remember our military. Let’s remember the women in our military who have given all to be able to be overseas, serving our country, giving their lives for our freedom. The holidays are coming up, now is the perfect time to put together care packages for them to arrive just in time for Christmas. If you have a loved one in the military, you’ll know exactly what to send. If not, and you’d like to honor one of the women serving overseas, Operation Courage is Beautiful has different ways you can help send care packages. Let’s reflect God to them as they face their fears. Let’s help them to know in Whom they should trust. As they fight for our country, let them know they are appreciated and loved, by God and us. With God on their side, what can mere mortals do to them? May God’s presence be felt in every note, every package, every act of love our military personnel receive this holiday season. Let us not forget their sacrifice for the freedom we get to live in Christ here in America.