Today we honor our Veterans both past and present. We remember their sacrifice, lives selflessly laid down, and the many comforts and pleasures of life given up that we would be free. Many of us have members of our family who either are serving in the military or did serve in times past. My mother was an Army nurse, my dad, a Commander of an Engineering Company. One grandfather served in WWII as a B-24 navigator and bombardier, and my other grandfather was a Lieutenant of a heavy infantry platoon which landed on D-Day at Normandy. I am thankful to have such a great heritage.

One great military hero that comes to mind is General Dwight Eisenhower who played a key role as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in WWII. He understood the risks and took the responsibility very seriously. He accepted that failure, blame or fault would rest with him alone should the massive Allied invasion not go as planned. This concept is bred into the culture of our Armed Forces, that of accepting responsibility and not making excuses.

Another military leader worth noting is King David of the Old Testament. He carried out huge exploits, captured cities and ushered in one of the most prosperous times of Israel’s history. Their borders were secure, God was being honored and thus, peace and prosperity followed.

But King David sinned. He committed adultery with Bathsheba, dishonoring her and her husband who was serving in David’s military on the front lines. But unfortunately, the tragedy does not end there. David would try to cover up his illicit affair with deception and when that failed, he resorted to murder.

Though David made a complete mess of the relationships around him because of his lack of integrity, he did show ownership of his sin and took responsibility for it when he was confronted. Yes, there were consequences that David accepted, but he knew that it was God he had sinned against and there were no excuses. God said of David that he was a man after His own heart. And what made him an exceptional military leader, was his humility in accepting responsibility and not defending or trying to justify his failure.

As we honor our Veterans today, consider what makes them great leaders. They have accepted the responsibility of defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. They make no excuses and stand steadfast as they have accepted the task of laying down their lives for our freedom. Because of their commitment, it is important that we support our military not only with prayer, notes and packages, but with lives reflecting truth, goodness, purity, nobility, and integrity. That is how to honor a veteran.