Chaplain’s CornerBVA National Chaplain Jay McLeod

by Chaplain Jay McLeod

As we enter the holiday season, we must remember the true meaning of the holidays. For many veterans, the holiday season is hard to get through. I remember being like those veterans with my thoughts going back to hard memories of what my life used to be and of the vision I used to have. Well I am here to tell you that these thoughts are not where you or I need to be focused during this time of year.

On the Thanksgiving holiday, many people have a meal that reminds us of the early settlers, the Native Americans and their harvest. This has come to be known as the first Thanksgiving. Although times were hard, these people used this meal to be thankful for all of the things for which they had been blessed. Throughout the centuries, this tradition has carried on. Thanksgiving has become a time to follow the settler’s example and appreciate the things in our lives that we have accomplished… no matter what we have been through.

During this holiday season, remember that it is not about trees, lights or presents. It is a time to appreciate the good things in our lives. I urge you to encourage yourself and someone else to be thankful for the things that you have. It is through our thoughts that our futures are shaped. So remember that, although we have been through difficult times, we have a choice of who we are and who we become.

Though the holiday season is a hard time for so many veterans, I encourage you to celebrate the true meaning of this time of year and fill it with happiness for the things for which you have been blessed.


WWI Quick Facts


  • Despite being shot and blinded in one eye, a pigeon delivered a message that saved 200 US soldiers

Audio Version Of Chaplain’s Corner