This I Believe—Stories from the Military Family

For many people in the military community, there is perhaps no time that belief is more emphatically tested and acted upon than in war. There is tremendous pride that comes with serving our country or having a family member serve in the military. At the same time, there can be heartache, loneliness, and a constant fear for the safety of that son or daughter, sister or brother, father or mother who is stationed far from home.

To bring attention to the unique strength and convictions of America’s military community, This I Believe is honoring our nation’s servicemen and women, veterans, and military families by sharing the stories of their core values and deepest beliefs. If you are a service member, veteran, or a military family member, we want to hear from you. Please submit your essay here.

Click the links below to explore the beliefs of our country’s military community.

November 11, 2011

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Army Major Peter Godfrin wears a bracelet bearing the name of a young sergeant he served with who was killed by a landmine in Iraq in 2004. Godfrin never wants to forget the sacrifice that soldier and others like him have made in defense of their country.
October 21, 2011

Semper Fidelis

Andrew Paradis nearly buckled from the stress of caring for his wife who had a physical disability and suffered from mental illness. But the former Marine found strength in the Corps’ motto of “always faithful” and vowed never to quit on his wife and family.
August 20, 2011

Silent Ranks

The hardest job in the military cannot be classified under any official job title, and has no rank. The silent ranks of the military, we are military spouses. We can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to people serving in...
July 1, 2011

Patriotic Ponderings

Growing up, our beliefs are often shaped by our parents. But as we get older, those beliefs usually change. For Joan Skiba, moving out into the world didn’t change the belief she learned in her family so much as it changed how she lived out her belief.
June 30, 2011

Dual Military

I believe that absence does in fact make the heart grow stronger. I could look at the glass as being half, or even three-fourths empty. My husband and I are dual military, and between deployments, TDYs, and school, we have...
April 18, 2011

The Chance to Become Something Better

I believe people are capable of great things. I am not very old but I have lived a life filled with much more thnn I could ever hope for. Through my life I have seen people fail and succeed in...
July 19, 2010

What the American Flag Means to Me

Last Sunday I was sitting in the living room with my husband, who was watching football games. While I was sitting there reading the newspaper the television began to ring out the national anthem. I looked up at the screen...
March 6, 2010

I Believe in Understanding

I believe in understanding. I’ve learned understanding as a U. S. Marine. I understand despair. Years ago I came upon a wounded Somali on a Mogadishu street corner. The wound on his back was as big as my fist. I...
November 16, 2009

This, I Believe, Is War

I never understood freedom, even after having fought in a war. I know what democracy is and I don’t like to think of it: I get depressed. I like to think that I freed someone or something in Iraq, but...