Friday, May 29, 2015

Memorial Day

I know it's past Memorial Day.  Everyone has enjoyed their BBQ's and day at the lake.  We *enjoyed* our severe storms...

But Memorial Day isn't just about picnics and time with family.  It's about remembering those who gave everything to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

As Sarge gets ready for his retirement this weekend, I wanted to share some of his memories.


A young cav specialist, and brand new Christian, came to me for counsel in Afghanistan in 2003. He was a hard working, modest kid being picked on for his faith. I was able to help him through the deployment. Later he had the chance to go to officer school but turned it down out of a sense of loyalty and duty to go to Iraq with his unit. The young man, full of potential, did not make it back from Iraq. Remember the families that are spending this weekend without loved ones who understood the risk and went on to make the ultimate sacrifice.


2008, I was convoy commander getting ready to return from Warhorse to Camp Caldwell. I had 6 Iraqi interpreters with that took their time and made us leave about an hour late. Another convoy left at the time we were suppose to leave and took the exact same route. Half way back to Caldwell the lead vehicle was hit and all but one occupant were killed. The person sitting in the exact same position as I was in my convoy was among the KIA. Had we left on time that one was meant for me. We past as they were finishing up recovery operations, bloodied Soldiers, in shock, standing security and carrying on with the mission.
This particular incident has really stuck with me. They didn't mean to "take our place", it was just chance. This has really made me think of the personal level Jesus knowingly went to the cross in my place. You will never forget when someone dies in your place. Rest in peace brothers.
Make the most out of today, you don't know what your tomorrow holds. At least I know Who holds my tomorrow.


Iraq again. I was meeting with local city officials and ended up sitting across from a young 1LT platoon leader and his interpreter (American citizen with PHD). They were from my camp, but this was the first time I had seen them. I was impressed with how well the young combat arms officer was handling doing the boring civil military operations that I did every day. 24 hours later both perished, trapped in a burning vehicle hit by a road side bomb.

Make the most out of today, you don't know what your tomorrow holds. At least I know Who holds my tomorrow.


Not everyone lost to a war is lost in the war. So many come back and suffer the consequences later...some times much later. PTSD leads many to reckless behaviors and even suicide. Exposure to various contaminants or poisons, like agent orange, can cause illness decades later. Go to a VA hospital or state veterans center and you will see it.

My dad passed away a year and half ago from a Viet Nam War service connected illness that wasn't diagnosed until 2007. He may not have been shot at but he still paid the price. We praise the Lord that he had the years with us that he did. He was a tremendous influence in my life and his witness can be seen today in 7 grandkids loving and serving the one true God.

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