"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Servant Soul

My LSU tigers just lost in what may have been the most embarrassing National Championship game of our time. Much of that - in my slightly angered, defeated opinion - comes from a failure on our coaching staff. No player, not matter how talented, how eager, how READY, cannot win without good leadership stepping up and making the right calls, doing the right things, setting the right example.

The leadership of LSU failed against the outstanding and better coaching of its greatest rival ALABAMA. In one night, everything fell apart.

Yes, I am about to turn LSU's embarrassing loss into a coaching moment. Well, I'm going to try. When life hands you lemons ... okay maybe limes and tequila. KIDDING. I don't do limes ... or tequila.



Last week I called or attempted to call every spouse and significant other in C's troop. It took me just about three hours. Some didn't answer. Some had incorrect information listed. Some were politely short, some totally confused, some happy to talk. Some very open to conversation. Some even thanked me for taking the time to do it.

Some of them had never received a phone call from anyone in any of the units they belonged to in the past. Never-a-one. Nada. Zip.

I find that to be a failure in leadership.

There are all types of leadership styles. There are those who are far more hands-on than others. Not every one likes that. I can respect that. I have met commanders who feel that the family has no place in the Army - in their career. I can't say I have the best respect for them.

I have said countless times that to serve those around me is one of the most-fulfilling and richest parts of my life. It is beyond amazing that I have the honor of serving the families of our soldiers - that I am blessed to love a man who serves a nation.

C is in a position of leadership. The way he lives, the way he leads, matters to over 150 soldiers. He sets the example, sets the pace.

All 150 or so of those soldiers have families. All have loved ones who worry and pray and hope for them. Some are parents who often times never, never have any connection to the unit their son or daughter serves with. Some are girlfriends and fiancees who fall through the cracks without even knowing it. It is easy for us to forget that we were "just a girlfriend" once too. It is even easier to never reach out.

To NEVER make that phone call. It is easy to just pass on dozens of emails and consider that's 'doing enough.' Talking to strangers on the phone is intimidating. I sound like I am twelve years old on the phone. (I'm not kidding). I wonder what people think when I say who I am. I am terrified someone will hang up on me. I truly, truly hate the first minute or two of a phone call.

BUT, I also believe that if you have had contact with a spouse or a family member, if you let them hear your voice, or shake their hands, or look them in the eyes, they are far, far more likely to be open to information, to be willing to communicate, to want to be involved.

My challenge to you is that if you are in a position of leadership, if your spouse is in a position of leadership, embrace it with the most humble heart. Know your spouses. Know his soldiers. Learn their names and their stories, their struggles and victories. Understand what it is lead by serving. Find joy in it. Find comfort in it. Find strength in seeing it grow in others.

If you are going to lead, if you are going to guide, do so with all of your heart, with proper intention, and with a servant soul.


and as always, GEAUX TIGERS!


  1. Have I mentioned I on't understand Amercians and (I'm assuming your talking about football).....
    I mean, we have hockey here. Well, and football, but HOCKEY. And people care. A LOT. But I swear every blog I read, written by women, is about American football. I don't think we care about our sports as much. Our Canadian football league has the same attendance as, say, your (Small) Highschool league. And while we pack out our hockey games, I can't say as I've read a single blog about it. Ever. It's totally different. (Not in a bad way, just a way I am a little lost at :)
    A N Y Ways......
    Did I mention I also don't do limes or tequila anymore either?
    I digress.
    I don't know what your hubby does, or what the equivilant would be here, but mine is equivilant to, say, your Staff Sgt. Kinda.
    We don't do family support or FRG's like you guys. I'm working to promote change. I make cold calls and random facebook connections. Sometimes I am shunned out. Sometimes I'm ignored. And sometimes, a girlfriend or fiance or wife of 10 years hugs me because no one's ever reached out before. Ever.
    And I do it not because I am naturally stalkerish (though that helps) because I distinctly remember what it was like to be a 20 year old Private's wife, pregnant and alone with no one to teach me how it worked or support me along the first deployment that year.
    Bless you for what you do. It always means something to someone.

    Sigh. I shoulda just wrote a post in response. One day, I am going to send you an email and see if you'll break down for me how your family support works so I can learn.

  2. Thank you so much for this post! When my husband was a squad leader, I tried keeping in touch with the spouses of the men in his squad. I know it was a leadership position on a much smaller scale, but I wanted to be of a help somehow. It wasn't too long before the wives were texting me with questions and what-not.

    He's on the verge of moving up in leadership, and I look forward to seeing how I can be an encouragement to these wives. I'm really excited about it!

  3. Kim, I have never seen a hockey game. Except for all three of the Mighty Ducks movies. I know you are rolling your eyes at that.

    You made me laugh! And Once I get stuff put together I will send stuff your way as examples!

    Lydia, THANK YOU for stepping up as a leader! You have a WONDERFUL heart and attitude! GOOD LUCK!


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