Tag Archives: Joshua Peterson

I Do Solemnly Swear …

Veterans Day is that one special day when all America pauses in gratitude for and honor of those living men and women who have taken an oath to ” … support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

veterans day 2015

While the young men and women who make this affirmation come from varied nationalities, differing socio-economic backgrounds, and religious experiences, but they all come together in this common oath.  The basic training provided by each branch of the United States military, the length of training, and certainly the MOS (military occupational service) training all vary, but all towards the fulfillment of a singular goal—the support and defense of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Although a growing number of politicians, from the president to congress, seems to have forgotten either the constitution or the oath they swore when taking office, the vast majority of the men and women of our armed forces—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marine Corps—put their very lives on the line daily.  These who have so seriously taken their oaths deserve the utmost of respect from all Americans.

BTW, do you pray?  If so, here are a couple of things about which you can pray.  First, after thinking quietly about whom these men and women are and what they do to make our freedom possible, thank God for them—from the young recruits to the most elderly veterans.  Second, ask God to sustain these troops and their families.

And to my own veteran son, USMC Sgt. Joshua D Peterson—you will never know how proud you and your older brother USMC Capt. Justin D Peterson have made your father, even at great cost.  Semper Fidelis!  The same can be said of my son-in-law USN Lt. Brandon Geddes!

joshua 2006 iraq 1



Celebrating Freedom with a Hero

Celebrating Freedom with a hero, Joe Hutchins 

veterans day 2015

I Still Miss My Boy!

Speeding south on Dequindre Road in the wee hours of the morning, I zigzagged my orange 1973 Corvette en route from Washington Township to Rochester, Michigan.  However, even the ‘Vette seemed too slow while racing a wife in labor to Crittenton Hospital—except perhaps for that one little hill, long since re-contoured, when we went airborne.   (I can still hear the groan from the passenger seat when we hit the ground again!)

After arriving—safely, I might add—I assumed my role as birthing coach and soon our son Justin was born.  Two-year-old Charity gained a baby brother!  More than four decades have flown by since that 30 September morning; yet, aspects of that day live vividly in my mind.

Charity and Justin circa 1976 Knoxville TN

It’s strange to me that I can recall details of decades ago, but can’t remember when I laid my truck keys or glasses five minutes ago!  But I digress …

It’s also amazing to me how, within a 48-hour template of time, life events can take us from the heights of celebration to the depths of bereavement.  However, and a strange as it may sound to some, I am thankful that 30 September and 01 October are joined together inseparably.

Today would have been Justin’s 41st birthday—a day of celebration, but tomorrow is a different story, although we will try to celebrate Justin’s life on what my other four children have dubbed as National Siblings Day (Hey!  If someone can dub a day as National Daughters Day—and thousands of Facebook users buy into it, why not a National Siblings Day?!) … but I digress … again!


I was saying, I’m thankful that, in the providence of God’s grace, the date of Justin’s birth and the date of his death are back to back.  Here’s why.  Parents remember their children’s birthdays, so when death has robbed us of that son or daughter, it makes for a tough celebration.  There are no parties.  There are no phone calls to say (or sing) “Happy Birthday, Bud!”

Then, if we had to endure (and thousands upon thousands do, I understand) a date of his death—say six months from now—it would seem to compound the intense emotional eruptions that are inherent to the loss of a child.  As weird as it may sound, I’m thankful that these two intense days are back-to-back.

As I have sat here, pondering, wiping my eyes, and blowing my nose, something else dawned on me.  Why am I using this occasion to write once again about something that our family and friends already know?  Then, it hit me!  Others may not need to read it, but I need to write it!  It’s a catharsis … and the good Lord knows …

Oh, BTW, do you pray?  If so, could I enlist you to pray for something that’s special to my heart, especially at this time of year?  Justin’s death in the sands of Anbar Province, Iraq did not impact only his mother, father, siblings, wife, and friends.  There were three children—two sons and a daughter—whose father was snatched from them.

If you would pray for Jared, Jayden, and Caitlin, this father and grandfather would consider it an honor.  Then, would you let me know that you prayed?  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy—just a brief sentence to let me know.  Then I can thank God for those who pray for us … as well as for readers who don’t have to read what I have to write!

Okay—no plane to catch today, but I really should empty this tissue-filled rubbish can and find a fresh box of Kleenex!