The War on Terror has become a bit more personal for us in the past few weeks.
While Rick was working with OCF at Quantico, he had the blessing of ministering among the new lieutenants at The Basic School. Since Rick had enjoyed TBS so much (*cough) it was a natural fit for him to come alongside these amazing men and women and encourage them and hopefully remind them that the harsh training was worth the goal–being United States Marines! What impressed Rick most about the Marines at TBS was their quality–they are men of integrity, honor, and faith as well as having all the other qualities of the normal United States Marine.
A number of Rick’s Marine’s are deployed and are on the ground in Afghanistan. Right now, four Marines Rick has been very close to are in-country and beginning tours that put people we love deeply in harm’s way (and one other just made it home safely with his unit). This isn’t new to us, but they represent men from the whole span of Rick’s time at Quantico and I think it’s the first time we have had so many in-country at one time.
I’d like to share with you a few remarks that two of these Marines wrote before they went overseas. The first is from TJ,an infantry officer, who completed TBS about a year ago and who left for Afghanistan with his unit from Camp Pendleton.
“Tonight I looked into the faces of 45 Marines in my charge whose lives will be intertwined with mine for the next seven months and they are ready. They are trained, taught, rehearsed and drilled and the time has come for the test.”
“Tomorrow I will look their families in the face and tell them how proud I am to lead them, to mentor them and how great a pleasure it has been to lay myself low that they may be better. Which is all true, but it will be in the knowledge that some will not see their sons again. I can’t really describe that kind of weight.”
“Very soon I will meet an enemy that hates me so bad he has dedicated his life to seeing my destruction. And I don’t know how to react to that because I don’t feel that way about anybody. When I figure it out I’ll let you know. Maybe that’s what Jesus felt like.”
Next is a part of a letter from Sean, a graduate of Azusa Pacific and a logistics officer out of 29 Palms. Sean fit easily into our family and he honestly blessed us with his time and his friendship. We hope we blessed him a little too.
Sean writes, “The perspective I find in this is one of making you part of this experience and partly to
share why I am here. We live in a country based on Judeo-Christian values that is more unique than almost any other nation or culture in history. For all its problems and godless transgressions, politically or socially, we have chosen to help and assist our “enemies”… To my knowledge, no other culture or nation in history has done this.
Sean goes on to share his personal goals:
“First: You. For your protection and prosperity; that you may never have to encounter the fear, the mental impacts, or the perspective of war and conflict in our farms, towns, cities, and country; that you may enjoy the freedoms provided and protected by those who have gone before us, those who serve, and those who have died for us, we the people. Second: To support and defend the values of our forefathers as established in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: to speak freely, to own a gun and protect my family, to practice my faith in private and in public service as expected by our forefathers and the God in whom we trust.”
These godly young men are laying it all on the line for our nation and for us–as thousands of others have done before, are doing, and will do in the future. We are so proud of them. We look forward to our work with Military Ministry to serve them, in only a small fraction of the way that they serve us. We thank God for the opportunity!