While They Serve
By Edie Melson

Angels on Guard

If you say "The Lord is my refuge," and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (Psalm 91:9-11)

With Memorial Day almost upon us, my mind and heart turn to those we’ve lost.

As a Blue Star Mother, one of my duties is to serve the family of a fallen soldier and award the Gold Star Banner. I’d like to share my experience at one memorial service I’ll never forget; every time I hear the rumble of a motorcycle, I think of that day...

It was the funeral service of an Army medic, killed by an IED two days after Christmas. He was barely 20 years old and graduated high school in 2010 with my middle son.

While none of us were looking forward to the service, our anxiety was increased by advance knowledge of a planned protest by a group that had announced it would be present.

The mindset of people who think they are doing anything productive by harassing families struck by tragedy is beyond me. I know, no matter whom they claim to represent, they are nothing more than ignorant hate-mongers. But my heart ached at the thought of this brave family enduring anything additional on this day.

Then we found out the Patriot Guard would be on duty.

This amazing organization, with chapters around the country, stands as a wall of avenging angels between families and those who might seek to harm them.

Outside the church, they surrounded the mourners, standing at attention and shielding them from all uninvited interlopers. Their respectful silence said it all. These men and women travel hundreds of miles to show the respect of a grateful nation... and the provision of God.

Inside the church I listened with one ear to the moving service, the other straining to catch any sounds of the protestors. I prayed that nothing would interrupt the tribute to a brave man. As the service progressed I began to relax, nothing from the outside penetrating the sanctuary.

Then I began to hear–or more accurately feel–a deep rumbling roar. It was an almost inaudible hum, a vibration that seemed to ebb and flow. As I strained to identify the source of the noise, it suddenly hit me: It was the sound of a thousand motorcycle engines, their owners revving the motors to cover any possible noises of disrespect.

I smiled to myself. God had set his angels to guard around those who were grieving. And in those engines, I heard the voice of God daring anyone to protest the sacrifice of this young soldier.

Edie Melson is a leading professional in the publishing industry. She also knows what it’s like to send a loved one off to war. Her oldest son went from high school graduation, to Marine Corp boot camp, to Iraq; where he served two tours fighting on the front lines as an infantry Marine. Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, is Edie’s heart project. Look for her two newest books for military families debuting in 2014: While My Son Serves and While My Husband Serves. You can also connect with Edie on Twitter and Facebook.

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Your Comments (4)

Edie, thank you for this beautiful post. It's a shame that we have need of the Patriot Guard, but I am so thankful for them. We have a friend who rides with the local chapter. Not only do they protect the families of these soldiers, but also escort the bodies of fallen soldiers back to their hometowns.

I admit it's hard not to "hate" the hatemongers who protest these funerals, but I realize they need prayer, so that they will come to know The Truth.

Joan, thanks so much for stopping by. These selfless men and women in the Patriot Guard provide so much! Blessings, E

Edie, this is a beautiful story you've shared.
I've not told you but I lost a brother in the Air Force in 1980. He had made it through many bombing missions over Vietnam, but was killed by being accidentally ejected from his jet over the Gulf of Mexico in a practice dog fight later at Homestead AF base in Florida. Captain Ryan C. Cobb, valedictorian of his high school class and graduate of Clemson University.He was 35 and a career officer. They never found his body. A most amazing thing was a cassette we found while cleaning out his Miami condo. He had made it one night before flying a dangerous mission over N. Vietnam. The title was "Mom, if the Air Force Declares Me Dead..." (which was exactly what did happen in 1980). It was like his voice back from the grave. I wrote this story up and that title was the front page headline on our local newspaper. The cassette was great comfort to Mom and the family. Some day I'd like to share that article with you. Blessings, Elva Cobb Martin

Elva, I'd LOVE to read the article. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Blessings, E