I Am a Soldier. This Is My Creed.

In honor of the home-going of a godly man and combat veteran of the European campaign of WWII, W. L. “Red” Sims, I re-post the following.


Soldier’s Creed

Hearing a soldier in the United States Military recite his particular “Solder’s Creed,” whether it be with the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard, is something quite stirring.

Probably inspired by the military creeds of this world, an unknown author penned the following for soldiers in God’s Army, the Church: those bought with the blood of Christ, wearing the whole armor of God, and marching onward toward victory with the Sword of the Spirit in their hands.

The sooner we come to the realization that we are most certainly engaged in a spiritual war, the better. May we all be willing to stand unashamed…”and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

The Christian Soldier’s Creed

I am a soldier in the Army of my God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is my commanding officer.

The Holy Bible is my code of conduct. Faith, prayer, and the Word are my weapons of warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity, and tested by fire.

I am a volunteer in this Army, and I am enlisted for eternity.

I will either retire at the Rapture, or die in this Army; but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out.

I am faithful, reliable, capable, and dependable.

If my God needs me, I am there.

If He needs me in the Sunday school to teach the children, work with the youth, help adults, or just sit and learn, I’ll be there.

He can use me because I am there!

I am a soldier.

I am not a baby. I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, or pepped up.

I am a soldier.

No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.

I am a soldier.

I am not a wimp.

I am in place saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name, and building His kingdom!

No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me handouts.

I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to.

I am committed.

I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around.

I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.

I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

If I end up with nothing, I will still come out ahead.

I will win.

My God has, and will continue, to supply all my needs.

I am more than a conqueror.

I will always triumph.

I can do all things through Christ.

Devils cannot defeat me.

People cannot disillusion me.

Weather cannot weary me.

Sickness cannot stop me.

Battles cannot beat me.

Money cannot buy me.

Governments cannot silence me, and hell cannot handle me.

I am a soldier.

Even death cannot destroy me, for when my Commander calls me from this battlefield He will promote me to Captain and then allow me to rule with Him.

I am a soldier in the Army and I’m marching, claiming victory.

I will not give up.

I will not turn around.

I am a solder marching, heaven bound.

(Author Unknown)

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. – 2 Timothy 2:3

https://logosdot.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/i-am-a-soldier-this-is-my-creed-2/

I Am a Soldier. This Is My Creed.


There are only two defining forces who have ever offered to die for you. 

One is Jesus Christ and the other the American Soldier.  

One died for your sins and the other for your freedom!

source


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The forgotten pain of heroes: one man’s story

May 24, 2019 by jccast

 

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. Some seem destined for greatness, or at least something special, early on. Some appear to carry Lady Luck on their shoulders. And yet, for the most part, the majority of heroes have less than stellar beginnings, are saddled with nightmarish memories of the traumatic situations they survived (if they survived), and are extremely uncomfortable with the title hero.

Johnathan Courtney, the focus of this piece, fits the latter category. Though he received multiple citations for meritorious service (including two bronze stars) it is not just the singled-out actions that make him a hero in my view. It is the cumulative actions over a drawn-out period in harm’s way, along with shouldering leadership responsibilities in equally trying situations that merit the often difficult to bear title. Such duties, in John’s case, include a tour in Iraq. Part of the time as a platoon leader leading hundreds of successful combat patrols, part of the time as the company XO, and winding up as Battle Captain.

John 3a

By the completion of his tour John would be forever changed by his experiences. Due to his upbringing, his character, and the fact that he’s an alpha male in leadership positions he possessed an inflated sense of responsibility for the soldiers under him. The death of eight soldiers—seven directly and one by way of an investigation—would haunt John because of his sense of responsibility and the decisions he made regarding each. Decisions he never could have imagined during his early years.

John’s mother, Ellen, is Caucasian, and his father, Don, is Native American. He predominantly identifies as Native American, from the Wasco and Warm Springs tribes, having been raised on or near the Warm Springs reservation in Central Oregon throughout his childhood. Along with returning to Central Oregon to reside in Madras several years after his military hitch and the divorce of his first marriage.

John, for the most part, was an average student. Education didn’t hold much importance to him during his early childhood. The divorce of his parents and subsequent move off the reservation to the nearby town of Madras played a part in that. So did the cultural change in peer groups. And, eventually, the return of his father (parents remarried) after being gone several years created additional issues.

During the various life changes John struggled with anger and identity issues: his purpose in life, his place in the family, in society, etc. It seemed to escalate during his high school years. He began drinking as a sophomore. However, he also joined the R.O.T.C. during this period, which became a positive influence. After meeting Sgt. Randy Casey—a tough as nails Ranger that became his mentor—John felt a sense of purpose.

Similarly, John was torn with wanting to be like his dad—who, in his eyes, accomplished everything he set out to do—and sought his approval, but he equally struggled with anger issues against him over the divorce, remarriage, and other family situations.

John Profile Pic 2

The new sense of purpose seemed to drive John. While he still appeared to vacillate in some areas, like changing his college major five times—eventually earning a BS in Sociology—he tackled everything that came his way in the R.O.T.C.: scoring in the top 5% of the country.

Choosing a career in the military, John (now a Lieutenant) was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA, where he had previously attended Airborne training. It took two attempts to get through the elite Ranger training, having been held back on his first attempt due to a medical issue. But he had the drive and character to claw his way back and earn the right to wear the much-coveted patch.

John also received mechanized training, which prepared him for his next post at Ft. Carson, CO, where his initial job was the Asst. Battalion Maintenance Officer of the 112th Infantry Regiment.

Soon after his arrival John’s group went through a transition period. The 112th was phased out as it became part of a Combined Arms Battalion, a new self-sustained format. With John becoming the Platoon Leader of 3rd Platoon, “B” company (Bravo / Blackhawk) of the 168th Armor Battalion.

John Pi-ume-sha Grand entry

Following a lot of preparation, including war games at Ft. Irwin, CA, the 168th took its turn in Operation Iraqi Freedom. John deployed to Iraq in November, 2005. By mid-2006, his platoon had been on over 500 combat patrols without a single casualty among his men. An impressive string of skill and luck. Unfortunately, for John, it would not continue.

John, who had been handpicked by his Company Commander, Capt. Larry Sharp, to be the company XO (second-in-charge), was promoted to Captain and took over the Battle Captain position in July, 2006. A position which gave him responsibility for a vast area, including everything that took place outside the compound.

The first half of John’s tour, prior to his promotion to Captain, is viewed differently by him than the last half. During the interview he spoke of both positive and negative aspects of the deployment during the period covering the first half of his tour. But it became quite clear that his focus regarding the last half of the tour centered squarely on the negatives. In his own words, this period is when he “started getting lost in the head.”

Early on, John talked about the hundreds of successful patrols, about a time when he earned one of his Bronze Stars (with valor) “for going the wrong way,” how their company saved the town from being overrun, and how they took out the enemy’s second-in-command. Although, scattered within those tales were less positive but equally memorable tales of a grandfather and his grandson being killed, a young boy that smiled and waved to the GIs entering and exiting the compound daily found hung on the fence after being tortured to death for being friendly toward the Americans, and a rear echelon soldier being negligently killed by civilian contractors—the first GI death that John had to deal with personally as the investigating officer.

A subtle, but very noticeable change came over John when he began to speak of the last half of his tour. The period when 7 soldiers under his command were killed. The decisions and responsibility lay with John as the Battle Captain. And it is clear that he internalized each event and it festered like a cancer.

John returned home in November, 2006. Within a few months he was drinking to numb himself. After all, he’s an alpha male, an elite soldier, a Ranger, and an officer. Showing weakness is forbidden. An unwritten code—but a code nevertheless.

John’s life began to slowly implode. Over the next several years he lost his career, his marriage (and custody of his daughter, Kirsten), had difficulty getting and/or keeping jobs, increased his drinking continually, and eventually had to move from Colorado back home to Madras, OR. And when he did make the effort to get help—filing twice with the VA regarding PTSD, and trying to get help through the community services on the reservation—he was either ignored or given excuses why they couldn’t help him.

John 1

The only good thing that occurred during this period was his marriage to his second wife, Emily. But his situation began to put a strain on that marriage, as well. To the point that Emily finally gave John an ultimatum. That ultimatum was the catalyst that created an eruption. The eruption ended with John barricaded inside his home surrounded by armed tribal police. And John, who had suicidal tendencies from the PTSD and had previously attempted suicide, continued to drink. Which made some wonder if he was now trying to commit suicide-by-cop.

It is said that it is always darkest before dawn. It is also said that God works in mysterious ways.

The tribal police threw the book at John. He was charged federally with the felonies, and he was looking at a long prison term if found guilty and given the maximum sentencing. Luckily, a lot of things began to mysteriously fall into place for John. The right people were coming into his life at the perfect time and he was starting to get the help he should have been given years earlier. The judge also took notice of how quickly John was turning his life around with the help. Thus, eventually, John took a plea deal that kept him out of prison, but put him on probation for 5 years.

Unfortunately, the felony conviction caused John to be terminated from the good job he had acquired while waiting for his court date. And yet, like every other good thing that had been occurring during this period, a woman John didn’t know called and offered him a job. A job he is still successfully performing two years after being hired. He is the Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success Coordinator for Best Care (Whew! That’s a tongue twister. Who makes up these titles?) But seriously, he deals with programs set up for adults, youth, and veterans. And his very painful past is no longer a hindrance, it’s an asset when dealing with people having similar issues.

John Picture

John’s faith was shaken to the core through the awful period in Iraq and subsequent years of anger and alcohol abuse. However, through hindsight, he clearly sees God’s imprint during the situation. And, like other vets he’s been in support groups with, John has returned to his faith. He is the first to say that he is still working on his spiritual life and walk, but he’s putting the same effort to move forward in that area as he has in all other areas of his life. Similar to his time in the R.O.T.C. and the military, John has excelled in everything he’s done after getting a little help to get back on the right course. And he has already touched many lives with his story and his concerted efforts to help people on a daily basis through his job, as well as through his efforts with the VFW.

John 3

Like most true heroes, John is extremely uncomfortable with the hero title. He simply did his job to the best of his ability and took his responsibility for the men under his command seriously—so seriously that each death of a soldier through his decisions slowly ate him up inside. Because he cared too much, which always compounds the pain in war. Yet, the same character traits that made him a hero then make him a hero now to all those he goes above and beyond to help on a daily basis.

John likes the old hymn Amazing Grace, and the opening lines say it all: Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.

John 2

I, personally, thank John for his service to the country and to his continued service to the community that he resides in. It is truly an honor to know him, and to call him…a brother in arms…and a friend.

 

Original here


‘It is the soldier, not the politician, who …’

Bill Federer recalls sacrifices of those who gave their life for their country

 

cemetary military graves

Southern women scattered spring flowers on graves of both northern Union and southern Confederate soldiers of the Civil War in which over a half-million died. Many places claimed to have held the original Memorial Day, such as:

  • Warrenton, Virginia
  • Columbus, Georgia
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
  • Boalsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Waterloo, New York

One such place was Charleston, South Carolina, where a mass grave was uncovered of 257 Union soldiers who had died in a prison camp. On May 1, 1865, former slaves organized a parade, led by 2,800 singing black children, and reburied the soldiers with honor as an act of reparation and gratitude for their ultimate sacrifice which gave slaves freedom.

In 1868, General John A. Logan, commander of the Civil War veterans’ organization “The Grand Army of the Republic,” called for a Decoration Day to be observed annually on May 30.

President James Garfield’s only executive order was in 1881 where he gave government workers May 30 off so they could decorate the graves of those who died in the Civil War.

During World War I, a Canadian Expeditionary gunner and medical officer, John McCrae, fought in the Second Battle of Ypres near Flanders, Belgium. Describing the battle as a “nightmare,” as the enemy made one of the first chlorine gas attacks, John McCrae wrote: “For seventeen days and seventeen nights none of us have had our clothes off, nor our boots even, except occasionally. In all that time while I was awake, gunfire and rifle fire never ceased for sixty seconds. … And behind it all was the constant background of the sights of the dead, the wounded, the maimed, and a terrible anxiety lest the line should give way.”

Finding one of his friends killed, John McCrae helped bury him along with the other dead in a field. Noticing the field covered with poppy flowers, he composed the famous Memorial Day poem, “In Flanders Fields”:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Notables who fought in World War I include:

  • John J. Pershing, general of the armies
  • Douglas MacArthur, brigadier general
  • George S. Patton, tank commander
  • Leonard Wood, future Army Chief of Staff
  • Harry S Truman, artillery officer and future 33rd president
  • Eddie Rickenbacker, commander of 94th Aero Squadron
  • Quentin Roosevelt, shot down, son of President Theodore Roosevelt
  • Alvin York, took out 35 machine guns and captured 132 enemy
  • Charles Whittlesey, commander of the “Lost Battalion” behind lines
  • Frank Luke – “balloon buster”
  • Edouard Izac, naval office captured on U-Boat, who escaped
  • Henry Johnson of the “Harlem Hellfighters”
  • Dan Daly, Marine Sergeant charged and captured machine gun nests
  • Ernest Hemingway, author of “A Farewell to Arms”
  • J.R.R. Tolken, British author of “The Lord of the Rings”
  • C.S. Lewis, British author of “The Chronicles of Narnia”

Also, Orval William Epperson, born on a rugged Ozark farm near Anderson, Missouri, fought in France during World War I, assigned to the 338th Machine Gun Battalion 88th Division. He is the grandfather of the author of this article.

After World War I, in 1921, President Warren Harding had the remains of an unknown soldier killed in France buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery. Inscribed on the Tomb is the phrase: “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.”

Since 1921, it has been the tradition for presidents to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The number 21 being the highest salute, the sentry takes 21 steps, faces the tomb for 21 seconds, turns and pauses 21 seconds, then retraces his steps.

Memorial Day grew to honor all who gave their lives defending America’s freedom in every war, including:

  • Revolutionary War: 1775-1783 – 25,000
  • War of 1812: – 20,000
  • Mexican-American War: 1846-1848 – 13,283
  • Civil War: 1861-1865 – 625,000
  • Spanish-American War: 1898 – 2,446
  • World War 1: 1917-1918 – 116,516
  • World War 2: 1941-1945 – 405,399
  • Korean War: 1950-1953 – 36,516
  • Vietnam War: 1955-1975 – 58,209
  • Persian Gulf War: 1990-1991 – 258
  • Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan): 2001-2014 – 2,356
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom: 2003-2012 – 4,489
  • Ongoing wars against Islamic terrorism and extremism

In 1968, Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May.

At the Memorial Day Ceremony, May 31, 1993, President Bill Clinton remarked: “The inscription on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier says that he is ‘Known only to God.’ But that is only partly true. While the soldier’s name is known only to God, we know a lot about him. We know he served his country, honored his community, and died for the cause of freedom. And we know that no higher praise can be assigned to any human being than those simple words. … In the presence of those buried all around us, we ask the support of all Americans in the aid and blessing of God Almighty.”

In 1958, President Eisenhower placed soldiers in the tomb from WWII and the Korean War.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan placed a soldier from the Vietnam War in the tomb. DNA test later identified him as pilot Michael Blassie, a graduate of St. Louis University High School, 1966 and the U.S. Air Force Academy, 1970, whose A-37B Dragonfly was shot down near An Loc, South Vietnam. In 1998, Michael Blassie was reburied at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.

In his 1923 Memorial address, President Calvin Coolidge stated: “There can be no peace with the forces of evil. Peace comes only through the establishment of the supremacy of the forces of good. That way lies through sacrifice … ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’”

Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army, wrote the poem:

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

In his Memorial Day address, May 31, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge said: “Settlers came here from mixed motives. … Generally defined, they were seeking a broader freedom. They were intent upon establishing a Christian commonwealth in accordance to the principle of self-government. … It has been said that God sifted the nations that He might send choice grain into the wilderness. …”

Coolidge was citing an election sermon by Judge William Stoughton, a Puritan leader in colonial Boston, April 29, 1669: “God sifted a whole nation that he might send choice grain over into this wilderness.”

Henry W. Longfellow used a similar line in his classic “Courtship of Miles Standish”: “God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for this planting.”

This was explained further in Benjamin Franklin Morris’ classic “The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of The United States” (1864): “The persecutions of the Puritans in England for non-conformity, and the religious agitations and conflicts in Germany by Luther, in Geneva by Calvin, and in Scotland by Knox, were the preparatory ordeals for qualifying Christian men for the work of establishing the civil institutions on the American continent. ‘God sifted’ in these conflicts ‘a whole nation that He might send choice grain over into the wilderness’; and the blood and persecution of martyrs became the seed of both the church and the state. … It was in these schools of fiery trial that the founders of the American republic were educated and prepared for their grand Christian mission. … They were trained in stormy times, in order to prepare them to … establish the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty and of just systems of civil government.”

President Calvin Coolidge continued his Memorial Day address, May 31, 1923: “They had a genius for organized society on the foundations of piety, righteousness, liberty, and obedience of the law. … Who can fail to see in it the hand of destiny? Who can doubt that it has been guided by a Divine Providence?”

Brought to you by AmericanMinute.com.

https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/it-is-the-soldier-not-the-politician-who/