Boots on the Ground

Military family blogger Edie Melson

As I’ve mentioned before, until our oldest son decided to enlist in the Marine Corps, ours was not a military family. When I accepted the fact that he was serious about this life choice, I began to do everything we could to learn about the military. I wanted to be prepared so I could help our family support him.

A boot pictured with a flag"Boots on the ground" is one of the many terms I became familiar with after he enlisted. It was coined in the early 20th century and is used to convey the belief that military success can only be achieved through the direct physical presence of troops in a conflict area.

I’ve come to believe this term is also a perfect description of a family’s path as they navigate the conflicts present in military life.

I learned that no matter how much research you do beforehand, the learning curve when your loved one enlists is steep. Beyond that, there is no substitute for "boots on the ground."

Each family’s experience with military life is going to be unique. It’s not possible to anticipate and learn all you need to know in advance. I know, because I tried. It’s only when we get in the middle of the conflict, that we get the information we need to succeed.

No matter how unfamiliar the circumstances are, success is possible. Fortunately, we also have access to an additional resource. We must never forget that God always has boots on the ground. And it’s when we take time to listen to Him, that our way becomes clear.