Saturday evening I had the privilege of attending a fundraiser for the Navy SEAL Foundation. The Navy SEAL Foundation provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and its families. We had the opportunity to hear from a couple of members of the SEAL community. The first, "Bam" Smith, is a Mt Lebanon product who served 30 years as a SEAL. While sharing a little about the unbelievable deployments and service he has rendered to our country, Bam focused mostly on the support of his family, particularly his wife. He went out of his way to deflect praise from himself and give it to his family as well as those who served with him. It wasn't merely lip service, it was heartfelt and real!
We also heard from a young woman who shared the powerful story of the service and death of her husband, Heath Robinson, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. Not a dry eye in the place. As heartbreaking as her story of loss was, in it was also filled with power and redemption. She spoke of the strength and depth of the support she has received from the SEAL community.
Bam walked with a limp. Mrs. Robinson walked with an ever-present hole in her heart. But a large part of what sustained them is that they didn't walk alone. They had a team. A family. A support structure. A people group, tribe, fellowship, whatever you want to call it, that not only walked with them through horrific times, but at times carried them.
Do you? Some of us may have family, friends, church or other people who do that for us. If so, give thanks for them today! But there are many folks who are surrounded by people but without a "family" to carry them. Don't try to walk through life alone!
“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
― Jane Howard