About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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  1. We have one retired and three active. Husband retired,son in law, two of husbands two sons active. We have four right in this little group!

  2. Thank you for your prayers for the military. As an ex military wife of 15 years they mean so much. My son Ian, now following in his father’s footsteps, serves as an MI specialist. Your prayers along with mine that he and I will be reunited soon will be heard in heaven and answered in His timing and so I wait patiently. Blessings to all military service members and their families. I just can’t imagine what this country would be like without your dedicated service. Thank you for your sacrifice.
    God Bless America!

    • Jennifer, I don’t know who Adam is, and that doesn’t matter. I pray for his safety, comfort and knowledge of how many of us here in our comfortable homes care for him. It is only because of men like Adam that we have the freedoms we hold so dear.
      (Kristen asked for help with some of these prayers, there are so many, and it’s my pleasure and privilege to oblige.)
      In Jesus name,
      Janet

  3. One of my high school friend’s dad was in the military. I don’t know his name, but hers was Genesis

  4. Happy Birthday Kristen and what an awesome day to have your birthday and release your book! Soooo excited! Thank you and all military families that serve our great Nation. I owe a heart full of gratitude to you all. May God bless you and all who have and are serving. God bless our country!
    Blessings and ((hugs)),
    Bev

  5. My brother, Jesse, is currently serving with the Army in South Korea. My father, two grandfathers, and three great-grandfathers served before him.

  6. Ashley. Terry.
    Thank you for sharing your story and birthday with us. I’m so saddened by other’s conceptions of military families, and the sacrifices they must make. Thank you!

    • Judi,
      There has been such a flood of prayer requests, Kristen asked me by email to help, it’s my pleasure. Lord, you know who Ashley and Terry are and you know their exact needs. I pray that those needs be met and that you bring comfort that passes all understanding to them, and to those at home loving them, worrying about them.
      In Jesus’ name

  7. Kristen,
    I am so grateful for you and the entire team of (in)courage! Thank you for your post but more importantly thank you for your willingness to pray for Ashley, our youngest of five children who just returned home safely from Afghanistan!

    My prayer today is for all the Gold Star mothers who have lost their child(ren) … “May they dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” and may they know that He is enough!

    the following is a my post from 2012 Memorial Day
    http://inhisarmsagain.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html

    With joy and gratefulness, Beth
    ps a very Happy Birthday to you!

    • Oh, so thankful for your boy’s safe return home!

      Thank you, God.

      And holding those Gold Star mothers especially close to my heart today, too. Thanks for that poignant reminder.

    • Lord,
      we ask you to lift Drew up and protect him through his service fighting for our country. we ask you to encourage Meg and bless their marriage deeply!
      in Jesus name, AMEN

  8. May you enjoy your birthday and thanks for sharing this resource and giveaway.

  9. Our neighbor, Michael, was laid to rest this past Friday leaving behind his young wife who is pregnant with their first child. It’s amazing to me how some do not understand the sacrifice military families make. I pray that God removes the scales from our eyes as a nation so we can return to Him.

  10. Thank you for the ideas on how to encourage a friend who’s husband was kill in Afghanistan.

    • Sympathy and love to you, your friend and all who knew and loved him, and who want to encourage and comfort your friend. She is already blessed to have a friend like you. I pray that the peace that passes all understanding will engulf all as they struggle with this loss.
      In Jesus’ name, AMEN

      Often the best thing we can do in these times are things like going and praying with her, bringing food, if it’s within your means, enough so she doesn’t have to now, prepared meals are always appreciated. God Bless you Dee.

  11. I’m so thankful for the service and sacrifice of our military!

    And Happy Birthday, Kristen!

  12. several friends have husbands who serve our country, Gabe and Jamie. Bless them today Lord.

  13. My brother- in-law Gary serves in the army. Thankful for the sacrifice of all our military and their families!

    • Lord, along with Julie I thank all those who sacrifice in whatever way they do, and their families who lose their loved one’s company during this time of service. Keep Gary safe, Lord. Give them all the comfort and peace that passes understanding.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

  14. Humbled by these comments and the service they represent. Thank you Kristen for this beautiful testimony and tribute. Grateful for you and all the military families you so beautifully represent.

  15. Thanks to all who have served our Country and may God continue to bless them and their families!

  16. Happy Birthday Kristen! 🙂

    My big brother Jeff is currently at boot camp for the air force. His wife is taking care of their three children herself and needs prayer as well. Their six year old daughter has had some serious health challenges in the past couple of months and they made the difficult decision for him to go on to boot camp for their family’s future while my sister in law deals with the medical struggles without him.

  17. My husband is retired from the air guard. His longest deployment was only 6 months, which felt like forever. I know some men and women are away from home much longer. Our military members and their families are in my prayers today and every day. Bless you all.

  18. Happy Birthday Kristen!
    I was part of a Marine Corps family and continue to pray for Bo

    I would appreciate prayers for all of our wounded warriors, especially for F, severely wounded and now addicted drugs as a result of those wounds and pain medication given during treatment. His story is not unique and only prayer will save them now

  19. My brother Matthew is in Afghanistan today. His first baby was born while he was gone and he hasn’t met him yet. We are all a wreck knowing how dangerous a situation he is in. We are so ready for him to be home safe!

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      My brother Brian is a flight medic currently in Afghanistan and my son will be leaving for basic soon. I understand your worry. I just said a prayer for your brother. ((Hugs))

      • Elizabeth and Angie, thank you for lifting up your loved ones here today. We join you:

        Father in Heaven, may You place a divine hedge of protection around your Matthew and Brian. Keep them safe, and may their hearts be close to You always.

  20. In tears!
    This community of military spouses at incourage has been like a warm hug!
    Happy Birthday!
    I hope the veteran military spouses know how it blesses us younger wives to hear your stories. Sometimes figuring this lifestyle out is overwhelming but hearing an ‘i’ve been there too’ is a breath of fresh air!

    Can’t wait to read this ebook. 🙂
    Laura

    • Lord, I left up Ross to you. And Tracey as well. You know their needs exactly, every moment of every day. I pray they know that and feel your loving arms around them.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

    • Lord, I lift up not only Michael, but his family and all who love him who are here stateside along with his fellow soldiers. Three tours of duty has to change a man just because of what he’s seen. I pray an extra amount of grace, peace and love during this most difficult time.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

  21. Both of my Paw Paws served in World War II. I currently have two cousins and many friends serving in the military. I know it is not an easy life. I am so grateful for the sacrifices they make for us to live the way we do. Freedom is not free.

  22. Happy Birthday, Kristen! Thank you for your beautiful words and your heart to encourage military families. I’m grateful for your new book….thank you!
    Today I remember my dads dear friend William Neville who was killed in Vietnam. And we remember all who paid the ultimate sacrifice and keep our Gold Star families in our prayers. I thank my husband and son for their service. God Bless all who have served and continue to serve. Much love to you.

  23. Happy Birthday to you! To all the women and men who keep the home fires burning, I thank you. Knowing someone’s waiting keeps our men and women who serve strong.

  24. Happy Birthday, Kristen! And thanks for your writing and for encouraging so many. Thanks to all the families and those who serve. This is a sacrifice I cannot even imagine and I am grateful.

  25. So grateful for all your prayers! It is encouraging to know that someone still remembers us. My son just said goodbye to his daddy who is in Afghanistan right now and in a few short months will say goodbye to his mommy (me) as I also head out for deployment. My heart breaks for all the moms who have to say goodbye to their little ones and it is so encouraging to know that no matter where I go my Guardian goes with me and stays here with my little boy!

  26. My husband served in the Air Force for 26 years including serving during the Vietnam War where my first son at 3 months of age and I stayed in California during that difficult year. Back then there were no computers, telephone calls or skype to keep in touch. Just the 2 way radio to say “I love you” — over (meaning the end so the other person could then talk). Now our oldest son has been in the Air Force 20+ years and I am proud of both my husband and my son for serving our country. You see, I am an immigrant from Holland. I came to America when I was a 12 year old not knowing a word of English, but I learned fast being around other kids in school. I had to. We came to America because of the freedom it offered and to help me medically due to the polio I had at age 2 that paralyzed me from the waist down. I am proud to be a naturalized citizen of the greatest country in the world that I owe my health and life to. And then to be married to a military man made me even prouder. And then to have one of three children serve the military makes me even prouder. America needs our prayers but I am still proud to be called an American, albeit a naturalized citizen. May God continue to be with those who serve this country including my son and bless America mightily. And God bless you.

  27. Thank you, thank you to all of our veterans at home, abroad, and in heaven. Thank you to my father, James, who served in the Army during the Vietnam era.

  28. My son Ruben is leaving for basic training three weeks from tomorrow. I am so proud of him, yet also very worried and sad that he will be away from home. Please pray for his safety!

    • Lord, I lift up Ruben to you as he prepares to transition from basic training to active duty. Shield him, Lord. With you on his side, who can win against him. I pray for his strength, peace that passes human understanding and the knowledge there are many here praying for him and his loved ones.
      in Jesus’ name amen

    • Lord, I pray for Raelene, home while her husband is not. I ask you give them comfort, the peace that passes understanding, your great Love. Keep him safe, please Lord.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

  29. Thank you!
    I have a friend who just left for Afghanistan last week, leaving behind a wife & 3 small boys ages 8 & under…this is his second term over seas. His name is Josh H. Thank you for praying.

    • Lord, I pray for Josh and for his family and all loved ones, here and with him in service. Felicia needs your love and comfort in a different, but equally important way, as Josh does. Help her with the 3 boys, especially when they ask about Daddy and when he’ll be home. I ask, Lord, that you give her the answers she needs as she needs them. Please provide your shield to protect Josh and bring him home safely.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

  30. Thank you for your prayers for our military. My son Torey is serving in the United States AirForce. He is currently in Okinawah, Japan.

    • Dear Lord, I lift up Torey to you as he serves his country in the USAF in Japan. I thank you that he is probably not in harms’ way now and pray it stays that way. Please keep him under your wing, safe and secure. And hold Nicole and all his loved ones, in a way that none can deny is from you.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

  31. I still remember the horrible way our military was treated when they returned from Viet Nam – shame on us as a country who beforehand had honored those who fought in previous wars, conflicts, etc. LORD please never let that happen again! Please add my grandson, Ryan to your prayer – he’s just now finishing up Army Boot Camp

    • I so agree with you about the way VietNam vets have been treated. I saw a man with a service cap on that indicated he’d seen action somewhere. When I asked where and shook his hand, he was shocked. As he thanked me he said he’d gotten very few of those since his return. This was 5-10 years ago. I’d love to pray for your son.

      Lord, please keep Ryan in your loving protection wherever he’s stationed, be it state=side or overseas. Please let him know how many are thankful for him and his comrades in arms who are willing to prove in any way appropriate to your Will for each that freedom isn’t free. At the least they give up time with their families, for that alone we are grateful. Please give to all who love him as well as to Ryan, the peace that passes understanding in the difficult times ahead.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

  32. Pray for my brother Tyler about to deploy for the first time, Army division. Thank you to all who have served our country and risked their lives, including my brother Tony, cousin Andy, and grandfathers. Thank you, we remember.

    • We do indeed, appreciate the great service of all who have served before those currently doing so.
      Lord, I pray for Tyler, about to deploy for the first time in the Army. Keep him safe and protected. Grant to all his loved ones, as well as to Tyler and his fellow soldiers, the peace only you can give.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

  33. My son, Collin, recently finished with basic training, in the Army Infantry. God bless and protect our military.

    • Lord, we do, along with Joyce, ask your blessing and protection on all our military. I specifically pray for Collin, who recently finished basic training. Wherever he goes from here, please keep him safe, make him know he is loved, not only by these people he knows, but above all, by You.
      In Jesus’name, amen

  34. Gratitude beyond measure for all those who have served in the name of freedom! My father, father in law, brothers (2), sister in law, brothers in law (3) have served for the freedom of our country and those individuals around the world. Thank you for your prayers and (in)courage(ing) words, each and every day!

  35. To all who have served and those who still serve today – thank you; thank you for the sacrifice that allows me to kiss my children goodnight and lay down to sleep with only mundane worries that mothers in other parts of the globe only wish they had. Thank you for standing guard on that wall.

  36. Mike, my dad-a Vietnam Veteran, who lost many close friends. Thank you to all servicemen and women for your sacrifice of everything. May God bless you!

  37. What a great opening! Thank you for reaching out to other military spouses. Sometimes we feel so isolated. My husband, Jason, is active duty and thankfully on shore duty right now!!

    Happy Birthday and blessings to you!!

    • Lord, I too thank you for all the love and blessings you pour out of not only the members of the military but also to their families. I thank you for giving Jason shore duty now, but with the knowledge that can change, I pray that you protect him and all with whom he serves.
      In Jesus’ name, amen

  38. Sister-in-law Kim (just arrived back from Kuwait on Mother’s Day) and brother-in-law John (back from a year in Afghanistan about a month ago). Both are still currently serving….numerous family members who have previously served, one giving his life.

  39. Thank you for your beautiful post today.
    A prayer today for Catherine Willison who is serving her country.

  40. My brother Kevin served in the army but has been honorably discharged due to a disability.

  41. Thank you so much for this post! My heart felt for you with the hurtful words you had to endure. I read once that “hurt” people, hurt people. Praying that the mother you encountered will find some kind of peace so that she will now lash out at others. I never realized what it really meant to make a sacrifice for ones country until a few months ago when my husband left for his first deployment. I miss him like crazy and it has made me some much more grateful and appreciative of our service members and their families. It has also made me rely even more on God. Thank you for the gift of the devotional, it will be an encouragement to me this year!

  42. My son just retired from the National Guard after 2 years in the Army and 20 years in the National Guard as a full time guardsman. He did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. No matter the age of your service person, they are always your baby and prayers are continuous for our military “family.” They are all “family” to each other. Our military wives are such a blessing, not only to the service man but also to other wives. Our “family” is a strong one and we should never forget the sacrifice they give for our freedom and continue to give for our country.

  43. Praying for all military families. Especially the Fuller family. Thank you for all the sacrifices you make to keep us safe. Praying God’s abundance of blessings.

  44. Lord, bless Amanda and Monica and Jenna, three military wives I call friend, three pillars of strength. Bless their husbands and their children and the beautiful gift of sacrificial service that marks their lives day by day.

  45. I have never been in my hometown for Memorial Day, as we are usually camping, but this year I stayed home because I had a float in the parade for a Patriot Camp we are running. Anyway, as I was listening to the speakers before the parade, a couple right next to me had their heads bowed and tears were flowing from both of their eyes. I asked them about it and she showed me her bracelet in memory of her young nephew she just lost in Afganistan, from my hometown. I cried with them and hugged them as the speeches continued. I will never be away for Memorial Day again.

  46. Robert, just one of the family members that have served. Both grandfathers, numerous uncles, cousins, nephews, and in-laws. Not to forget the sacrifice of my dear husband, of course, that was before we met and he was one of those dishonored when arriving home from Vietnam.

    Happy birthday Kristen, and I hope I am chosen to be one of the winners!

  47. My husband is a vet, my nephew RJ is in the marines along with my best friends sim Matt. Please Lord keep them safe! Loved your post and tere are so many misconceptions about military families! These are men and women like us! Espically Cyndi who is a Nurse in the military and a great friend!

  48. My husband is an army chaplain. This military life is a great blessing…..the challenges can be great but worth it. Being where god has called us isnt easy but certainly worth tge sacrifices.

  49. My husband is a Viet Nam vet and also retired from the National Guard. He did not want to retire, they were set to deploy to Iraq. He developed diabetes and could not go. He was so disappointed that he could not go and serve. I have never known anyone as patriotic as he is and I’m sure many of the wive on here can say the same. I am so proud of him. We are so thankful for those now serving and for their families….it is hard to be at home taking care of business, knowing that your husband or wife is in harms way. God Bless America. Freedom is not Free.

  50. My cousin Nick is serving in Afghanistan right now. Please lift him and all of “Forty Deuce” up in prayer. Thank you!

  51. Amen to all of the contents in this post! I have not served in the military, nor have any of my loved ones, but I thank all of you who have served and your families. I thank God for what you have all given to keep our country strong! God bless you!

  52. My brother, Nic, serves at home. Thank you for this post and for honoring our servicemen and women with your words.

  53. The people who serve our country and the families that hold down the fort at home are special people. As an ex military wife, I know this to be so true. The Lord has indeed built them of a special stuff.

  54. Thank you for this post! Such joy to see our military members honored & prayed over. We are an Army family, and I am continually grateful that we get to be a part of this community. Thankfully, my husband has not deployed recently – I keep a running list of deployed soldiers & their families in my prayer journal…praying for joy in their days, peace in their hearts, and rest in their (long) nights.

  55. So sorry Kristen for the woman’s comment…praying for your little one, for you and your family. Thanks for your husbands service, and yours as well! Praying for all our servicemen and women today, and especially for the family’s of our fallen soldiers. We help serve the men and women of the 173rd Fighter Wing here at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, OR. Love them all! 🙂 They train the fighter pilots. When we hear those jets overhead – we say, “That’s the sound of freedom!”
    God bless you for all you do!
    Blessings to you and your family,
    Susan G.

  56. I’d like to thank my mom and dad for their service in the Army, my Grandfather for his service in the Navy, and my other Grandfather and uncle who also served in the Army. Thank you for your sacrifice!

  57. I know that I have no true understanding for the sacrifices made for our freedom-past and present…but I stand in awe…and thanks..God bless each one!

  58. Pray for all who are serving in Afghanistan, as we enter into the drawdown and closing of the war, we enter into a time of more danger.

  59. My Grandfather, a WW2 Veteran. My husband’s best friend, Jacob- a marine currently stationed across the US in California.
    Thank you to all of our service men & women, so many sacrifices on many different levels! Love this post, the ebook, & giveaway!

  60. Our friends’ son is in the Marines. His name is Kyle. Thank you for praying for him, and thanks for the giveaway! I love those cards!

  61. Thank you for praying for our troops no matter where they are serving!!!
    We also pray for the miltary dogs who serve keeping our troops safe and who also
    give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives-sadly most of our law-makers treat them as “equipment” and not the 4 legged soldiers they are!!
    We know many people in the military-we are a member of Blue Star Mothers.
    Please pray for Teri-Jason and Robert who are now serving in the ORNG-Robert has just last year(Dec)returned from Afghanistan which was his 3rd tour – previously a tour in Iran and another in Iraq.

    Let us remember all the troops and their familes who also sacrifice by being home and supporting their serving family members!!

    Thank you for your remembrances on this Memorial Day and always
    LindaS
    BlueStarMother
    and Proud Parent of ORNG Soldier

  62. Happy birthday Kristen! God bless your hubby and all the service men and women. Also let us not forget those serving at home–the young children, & mothers who send their loved ones to the front lines for ALL our safety!!

    God Bless everyone!! 🙂 Thank you for giving away such nice gifts to our brave men and women–They truly deserve to be honored!

  63. I have several friends who serve with one being abroad. my prayers are with all those serving and have served. I’m touched thinking of the brave men & women who sacrifice so much.

  64. My husband, Phil, serves as a pilot in the USAF. I am so proud of him. I am humbled on days like today when reminded of the ultimate sacrifice that many have made for our freedom and the sacrifice of the families they left behind. Thank you is simply not enough.

  65. As a U.S.A.F. veteran, I understand what it is to serve my country, and I have nothing but respect for those who actively serve, and great thankfulness to those who have served and given all…may their families be blessed this day..

  66. God bless and keep in His loving arms all those who serve our country. Theirs is a sacrifice to serve and protect our basic freedoms. I can’t imagine being without the choices we are free to make, especially the freedom to worship as we choose.
    God bless and strengthen all the loved ones of our military. Theirs is also a sacrifice to see their dear ones leave home and family behind on behalf of our nation.
    God and bless keep you, Kristen for all of the healing you are able to accomplish through your inspiring words. Happy Birthday! and Happy Memorial Day! :0)

  67. My son Brice is at Navy bootcamp right now. It’s so hard because I miss him so much but the pride I feel is amazing. I’m a proud Navy mom!

  68. Thank you to all who gave the ultimate sacrifice.. I have many in my life who have served.. my dad, father-in-law, uncle, and great uncle.

  69. I have one son-Anthony- Active Army, one son retired Air Force, one son medically boarded-Army. I am retired AF, my father (dec) retired USMC, my father-in-law (dec)-WWII veteran of 101st Airborne A-Co. Ours is a family of a proud military heritage, including neice, nephew, brother.

  70. Our Son is currently active duty and serving in an Army Hospital in Hawaii. We don’t know where his next duty station will be but we are proud of his service.

  71. My husband is a police officer and serves our city. It is difficult and I imagine it would be for military families as well. I will keep you all in my prayers–that you may rely on God’s almighty strength to get you through anything and everything.

  72. I am the wife of a 20 year USAF retired veteran. My husband’s name is Alan and my name is Ruth.
    We have a son that has been serving in the USAF for 12 years. He is a PA and cares for military personnel o and their families. He had done 6 tours of duty thus far. His name is Nathaniel and his wife’s name is Melissa. They have three children: Austin (14), Jordan (10), and Davlyn (6).
    We have a son-in-law that has been serving in the USAF for 11 years. He is in intelligence. He has done 4 tours of duty thus far and they just moved this month to England for a four year tour. His name is Michael and our daughter’s name is Heather. They have five children: Anika (10), Shyanne (8), Allyson (6), Levi (2), and
    Amariah (5 months).
    I know this is a lot of names to remember in prayer but our family knows the importance of prayer and appreciates everyone that remembers them.
    We wish you a very Happy Birthday, Kristen! May God bless your day and the year ahead!
    Hugs to everyone! Ruth E.

    • Ruth, I’m thrilled you left every single name here…thank *you*. And my word, your family is chock-full of heroes, isn’t it? And you, being such a prayer warrior…moving mountains for your people. It’s an honor to lift them up, Ruth. Please give them all our gratitude. Much love.

  73. I would like to thank all military past and present who gave their lives in order that we might have freedom I. This great country…
    Our church has a wonderful ministry to the military serving and stationed in Ft Polk, La…we have met and disciples many who have moved on to be a Light in the next state or the next station they are sent to…we are proud of each of them….they come and bless our life and then are sent out not only as military families but as Ambassadors for Christ from our church!
    We also are very thankful to the wives and children left behind as the husband is deployed, and try to be a family to them as they are in our midst…
    We have had our young ladies marry and move away with them and many friendships have been formed in their coming…we love them like our own and pray for them as they go…the US Military is very much part of our lives!

  74. My husband, Josh, heads out for deployment this summer. We expect our third child while he is gone. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers.

    • Oh Marian. You are a treasure, you know that? Thankful for your husband’s service, thankful for yours. Praying for your whole family now.

  75. My nephew Taylor is serving in the middle east. Prayers are always appreciated.

  76. Thank you for these words today Kristen. Truly, the greatest sacrifice has already been paid! Praise God! My father serves and my grandfather served in the military. Now, my husband is serving in the Air Force, and we are stationed in Misawa, Japan. Thanks for your encouragement today!

  77. Bless each and every one of you who have members of your family serving for us.
    My sister has been a navy wife for over 20 years and I applaud her sacrifice as well as my brother in law…. Russell.
    Thank you

  78. would like to ask you all to keep one of my great nephews in prayer. His nameis Colt and he is in Afganistan right now serving. pray for his wife and children too. And thank you all service members for all you have done to serve our country,our freedom. thank you and may God bring all home safely

  79. Thanks for the encouragement. My husband, Drew is currently in Afghanistan.

  80. What a wonderful post. Hearfelt prayers for all the Heros and those who love them.

  81. My daughter, Whitney, is currently serving in the Marines, She is currently in Okinawa, Japan, Thank you for your prayers

  82. My daughter, Whitney, is currently serving in the Marines, She is currently in Okinawa, Japan, Thank you for your prayers

  83. Kristen,
    Happy Birthday. Thank you for the sacrifices that your family is making for our country.
    This weekend, my pastor shared an alarming statistic about the suicide rate among veterans — my heart broke. It pains me deeply that we as a nation and as a church family do not do more to help and support these courageous heroes who have laid their very lives on the line to preserve the freedoms I take for granted…
    Much love to you, my sister! May God give you and yours a hundredfold for your investment in others.

  84. Please pray for Demetria and her son Dolan who are home waiting for daddy Michael to come home safe

  85. Praying for those that are serving and for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

  86. Such beautiful encouragement to those in the ongoing battle to keep our liberties secured, Kristen. My father served, my brother served, and two uncles served–one whom I never had the honor to meet as he was missing in action in the Korean War. Uncle Harlan is one of the fallen heroes who is still missing. My deepest gratitude goes to all our heroes.

  87. My nephews Dean, Navy and Evan, Army – Pray God send your angels to guard and protect our servicemen and woman and their families- Happy Birthday Kristen!

  88. Wade, my son in law, is in the Army. Thank you for prayers and for your encouragement on this page. Happy birthday and many blessings!

  89. Please don’t forget the oft forgotten heroes–our military working dogs (active duty, retired, & no longer with us). They protect & serve as well and many a soldier’s life has been saved because of them.

  90. Thank-you thank-you for serving!! I really can’t comprehend the sacrifice you give and have given.

  91. Friends, thank you for trusting this space with the honor of praying for your cherished ones. Wherever your loved ones serve, may God keep them safe and protected. May He give His peace that passes all understanding to those brave heroes as well as to their families (and brave heroes) at home. Words can never express just how appreciative we are of you and your loved ones.

    You are each a gift.

    “God lives here, the streets are safe,
    God at your service from crack of dawn.
    Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
    but Earth does anything he says.
    Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. ” ~Psalm 46: 5-7 The Message

  92. We in the United States are so blessed to have so many heroes among us. Those who are in our military are doing an awesome job of keeping us, Americans safe…Thank you…

  93. My father served in the Navy well before I was born. One brother served over 20 years in the Navy and another brother served in the Army. Grateful to all those that serve and have served.

  94. Kristen, what a blessing you are to us all. I am a military mom, but, you are a blessing to everyone who comes into contact with you. My son is older and decided after 911 that he had to do something to help and do his part. I am very proud of him. The young men all look up to him and call him dad and the old man. He turned 40 in Kuwait. It was hard on him and his wife and daughter, but, at the same time it was a time of pride for them all as well. He is now in the states and is learning to fly helicopters and is very excited to be doing what he loves for a country that he is proud to serve and a God he loves! Thank you for everything, you are a breath of fresh air. Love in Christ!

  95. Oh, Kristen, I’m sorry you had to deal with that judgment. Thank you for your family’s sacrifices for this country. Please pray for our dear friends who are in the military and are dealing with PTSD and other really awful challenges — that he would receive treatment and healing, and that their marriage would be revived.

  96. My daddy died in 1980 of a service related disability. He served 21 years.. My husband served for six years and my brother for 20. I have a great nephew serving now, Timothy Bowden, and one in the reserves, James Bowden. I have had uncles, cousins(both male and female) who served, as well as two sisters- in-law. Guess you’d say we are a military family.

  97. I was so blessed to start my teaching career on Fort Lewis Army Base. My perspective and love for military families was so beautifully molded during those years! Thank you for taking the time to write this tribute! The Incourage blog never ceases to amaze me!!

  98. Thank you for your comments about living the life of a military person. We sometimes forget the cost others must pay for our freedom.

    I would be interested in hearing how you resolved the incident with the mom who turned your comment about her son’s bullying back onto to your family. There is an old saying that fits here: “The acorn doesn’t fall far from the oak tree.” Bullying can be a learned behavior.

    My husband and I are raising our 14 yr-old granddaughter and have encountered bullying in our neighborhood and the school she used to attend. We have managed to bring resolution to it through much prayer and by advocating for her, but we finally decided to put her in a Christian school – costly but worth every penny.

  99. I am so glad and so proud of the people who still remember our military on this day as well as others. I have two grand children serving . A20 yr old and a 21 yr old. Both believe in God and our country. One is stationed in South Korea and the other here in the states. One bears arms for freedom and Justice , the other is in military law for freedom and justice. So I am a proud grandmother.

    thank you and God bless
    Jean Lindsay

  100. I always appreciate your honesty, Kristen. The line about “losing the good opinion of a few misguided people” really struck me. Just the encouragment that I needed – so thank you! And happy birthday a day late!

    Rachel

  101. Father-in-law, Joseph who served in WWII and Korean War. And my nephew Tyler, who is in the Reserves. Thank you and all the men and women who served/are serving for your sacrifice for our freedom! I have to be careful not to judge the other woman because I don’t know her full story but I applaud you for setting boundaries and discipline for your children. and for showing them what is right. They will thank you for it someday, even if others don’t see it that way. Happy b’day, by the way.

  102. My son graduates high school in a few days and there is a young man from his class going into the navy. His name is Hunter G. It doesn’t seem like he should be old enough for this! Say a pray for him and his family.

  103. Thanks Kristen. A nice reminder that we need to believe in ourselves and in God and not take direction from everyone’s opinion. There is always someone who disagrees with our way of doing things. Happy Birthday to you and thank you for all of the sacrifices that you and your family and all military families make for our country.

  104. To our military men and women and their families, thank you so much for all of the sacrifices you make on a daily basis while protecting people around the world. You are loved and appreciated. God’s peace to you all.

  105. David is my nephew in the Marines. Pray for him, he is going on his 2nd tour of duty to Afghanistan in June and has done 1 tour to Iraq.
    Pray for his and his young wifes’ salvation. Also for their newborn baby.
    That he will remember what I wrote him while in Iraq about salvation. I thanked him for selfishly serving our country. He has chosen to make a career in the Marines. I know it will be a lonely time for his wife while he is gone. I pray for courageous christians to surround her and shine Jesus light. God to surround him also and with His angels to keep him and his men safe&all to come back safe and sound.

    • Mary, that’s my heartfelt prayer, too.

      Thank you for telling us about your family here ~ it’s an honor to stand in the gap for them.

      Much love to you and yours.

  106. My father, Chester, served in the Pacific in WW2, as did my Uncle John. My father’s father, also Chester died of complications from mustard gas in WW1 when my dad was a young boy. My cousin John served in peacetime (we’ve had much too little of that. My heart and prayers go out to all the active, inactive presently, passed service men and women. I applaud the local jeweler here who gives a strand of pears, unquestioned, to every woman who has a husband, father, son, in the military

  107. Love & Prayers are with our young daughter’s family in Norfolk, VA: Austin, Jodi, & Baby Everson, as he will face another deployment the beginning of June-Jan. 2014. This will be my son-n-law, Austin, 3rd deployment in 2-l/2 yrs. in the Navy and it will be his first time leaving behind a wife & baby son. May God keep you all safe & protected. Thank you for Serving our Country. God Bless the U.S.A. XOXO

    • Dear Heavenly Father, we pray a spirit of peace around Austin, Jodie, and Everson as the family prepares for Austin’s deployment, and we pray a hedge of protection around Austin after he leaves. May he always feel You close. And Lord, be especially near Jodi and Baby Everson. Lord, let Jodi know she is brave and capable because of You in her. May she draw never-ending strength from Your presence. We thank you for this precious family. In the mighty name of Jesus,

      Amen

  108. I am a veteran having done deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan while my husband, Nate, still serves in the Army and my father retired from the U.S. Navy. Bless you for your wonderful words of encouragement and the talent you share with all of us in His name.

    • Bless *you*, Carolyn, for faithfully serving. Many thanks to you, your man, and your father! You and your family are a gift. Praying for each of you today…

  109. Thank you for the post, prayers and patience. My heart and prayers are with those who love and support those who serve. Thank you sounds so inadequate, however, please accept my deepest thanks for your sacrifices.

  110. Thank you for praying for the brave men & women who faithfully serve to protect our freedoms! We have a son in the Navy (Special Ops) currently stateside but preparing for a deployment sometime next year to ??? I get to meet recruits, those finishing boot camp, active duty, retired military, & their dependents weekly as I have the privilege of volunteering at the USO.

    • Sandy, we are so thankful for your brave son *and* for brave mamas like you who shine an effervescent light on so many.

      And you volunteer with the USO?!? Now I doubly love you. The USO is a bright spot to so many military members and their families. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Sandy. You are loved.

      Praying for your son right now.

  111. My 2 sons , Nick and Pat served in the USMC for 30 years and 20 years, respectively. They have always been a source of pride and joy for me and my husband, as I know of the many sacrifices they and their families made in those years.

  112. Great post! So thankful for men and women who are willing to sacrifice themselves for my freedom. Praying for our troops today!