No Man Left Behind

us-marines The United States Marine Corps have a motto they live and die by… “Until they are home, no man left behind.” The statement is simple and clear.  This basic principle is ingrained in each soldier.  In the battle and on foreign soil each Marine is to take care of the man next to him.  He is not to be concerned with his own welfare, but with the welfare of his fellow brothers.  “Ours is a family that looks after its own in every way. Your title is your membership into a brotherhood of warriors. Those who stand by you in battle will never leave your side. Semper Fidelis means always faithful, and always able to count on your fellow Marines—while in the Marine Corps and for a lifetime” (www.marines.com).   The Marines devote themselves to their values and principles in order that the cry of a forgotten soldier will never be heard. 100220-afghan-hmed-12p.grid-6x2 There will be no forgotten brothers on the battlefield. The question must be asked…who will listen to the cries of our forgotten children? We have a generation of children whose cries go unheard.  These children do not live on foreign soil.  These children are in our country, our community, our neighborhood, our schools and our churches.  In the United States we have over 400,000 children in foster care.  Some of these children will be reunited with their parents, however thousands will not. The numbers are overwhelming.  In 2012, 23,439 children aged out of the foster care system.  What does this mean?  These children reached the age of 18, and exited the program designed to care for their needs.  Out of these 23,000 one out of five had no place to live.  They exited the foster care system as homeless youth.  We are not all elite trained soldiers embedded with the brotherhood of warriors, but we are all designed to function in the heart of family.  We all have the capacity to love.  We all have the ability to listen to the cries of the forgotten and answer with our arms, our hands and our feet.  The call to action is now.  Not everyone can adopt a child out of the failing foster care system, but we are all capable of something.  We can offer our time as a volunteer or mentor.  We can provide resources as a much needed donor.  We all must do our part to save our children.  We all must do our part to bring them home. Until they are home, no child left behind. “Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”  David Ogden Stiers “Images courtesy of United States Marine Corps official page.”

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