This word – protect – gives perspective to my week of travel to Arlington, VA and the Pentagon to witness youngest brother Paul retire from military service.

Joining the Five Minute Friday community with a one word prompt. We write for five minutes (I confess, I’m not so good at the time limit), post it, and then link up over at Kate’s blog.

The day before Paul’s retirement ceremony he gave me a brief tour of the Pentagon. I was thrilled to see this massive place up close; first, we had lunch in the food court.

This fact kept popping into my head as we walked crowded corridors: 25,000 people work in the Pentagon! They have their own police (who efficiently screened Paul’s wife and I for ID tags and moved us through security).

First question, “Why are you here?”

Answer, “to have lunch with my brother!”

They also have their own hospital, medical and emergency staff, plus laundry, dry cleaning, etc. Paul says he wore civvies to work and home, changing into uniform when he arrived.countingjoyblog.wordpress

Like any good tour guide the general continued to point out our location on maps as we walked, as well as explaining the layout of this huge building. It is impossible to forget the function of this building, to protect our country. These are busy people moving quickly from place to place, in uniform or not, mindful of the task of the moment.

Sobering of all, the memorial room for those who died at the Pentagon on 9-11 in the plane and inside the building reminds me of the high cost for protection. On Sept. 11 men and women went about their business as they did on the day of my visit, perhaps not even aware of the attacks in New York.

Inside a room in the outer ring of the Pentagon are binders filled with a page for each of the 125 military personnel and 64 airline passengers who were killed. Looking out from this room you can see the outdoor memorial of benches – one for each of the victims.countingjoyblog.wordpress

As we leave I check to be sure I can take this picture – every person who died on 9/11 is pictured in this flag. We need memorials,  tributes, and holidays to remind us of the sacrifice of a few for the many.


General Holmes (Paul’s boss), Elliott (the man who influenced Paul to join the Air Force) and the general (brother Paul)

I thank God for those who serve our country in uniform, in harm’s way and far from family.

I am thankful for the family members who sacrifice so much to support their loved one in the military.

I am thankful Paul recognized his wife and their three children for their service as they walked beside him.




8 thoughts on “PROTECT

  1. Christy

    Joy, I had no idea there was a memorial at the Pentagon; although I’m not surprised. Even my husband who is a major history guy didn’t know. What a neat picture! I’m so glad I popped over.

  2. Mary Nell MacLeod

    Hats off for Paul and Family for great service to USA! I ask for you a long Godly life
    to live.

  3. Kadie @ 12 twenty 8

    First off, thank you to your brother for his service. And then, how awesome to take a tour of the Pentagon. I have toured the Capital Building and the White House, but never the Pentagon. Maybe on the next trip ;). Thank the good Lord above for those willing to sacrifice everything for the rest of us!


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