Noah Webster defines a veteran as: “One who has been long exercised in any service or art, particularly in war; one who has grown old in service and has had much experience.”
When we think of Veteran’s Day, we think of those who have given military service or those who have served in law enforcement. However, there is a group of veterans who often go unnoticed or under acknowledged—mothers! Most definitely, these have gone through a different kind of war, have much experience, and have grown old in service!
Now I am most familiar with mothers who have homeschooled their children (like myself) and I have not been shy about singing their praises. Customarily, outsiders have no idea what a home educating mom contends with, even with just one student. However, magnify that with those women who have multiple children (some as many as eight to ten) and have been the primary educator for them all, and you are looking at one veteran teacher, CEO, CFO, and inventory control officer. What’s more, these vets have often endured derisive comments implying that it does not take much skill to fulfill their tasks. This in spite of these mothers producing superior results in their children as evidenced by commendable test scores, routine college admittance, and evidence of their reliability and faithfulness as parents, entrepreneurs, and employees.
Fast forward the clock to when these moms graduate their last student. Many feel ill equipped to be of service and think they need to go back to school, as though they need more education. In truth, they have more to teach than to learn; these veterans have the power to excel at working for the Kingdom of God in many varied and important arenas.
I cannot tell you how often I have been involved with some volunteer activity or participated in managing some enterprise or event, and those I work with always want to know where I received my degree and in many cases I am offered a job. My standard reply is, “I’m competent because I am a mom and raised and homeschooled my children!”
Lately, I have also been involved with hiring prospective teachers for the Christian school where I am currently employed. Most definitely, the best candidates are those veteran mothers who have a record of accomplishment of managing their families and have the fruits to show it. Rarely do they find something too difficult to overcome. They know how to research in order to find the answers they needed yesterday. They also have a built-in sense that networking and asking for help is not something to shy away from, but rather pursued.
So, here’s to the veterans who deserve a genuine, “Thank you for your service,” when we encounter them. For without the dedication of these mothers, there is no telling how decadent our society would become. So, the next time you are looking for someone to hire and incorporate into your business or organization, consider hiring one of these vets who know what it means to work hard for little praise from men as long as God is glorified. Moreover, if you are one and happen to live near me, please, send me an application! You are just the sort of colleague we are looking for.