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Freedom Has A Taste
Shout Out to Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, Conscientious Objector
"No one who is protected, will ever know." Jeremiah Denton, Retired.Veteran, POW
Several days ago, I was sitting here wondering what I was going to do for the 4th of July celebration. The days leading up to this day had only been hot and unbearable; staying home was not an option. I thought how nice it would be to go to the lake and just play in the water with my son; bar-b-q as well. I've always known how powerful the suggestion of thought is, and no sooner had I thought this, my friend Zoey mailed me and invited me to join her and her family on the 4th.
My son and I are back home, and to be so brings a sobering realization. While we were out enjoying a long, relaxing day of swimming, grubbing on good food and meeting new friends, Marines were marching across the hot landscape of Afghanistan in the Helmand Province. Many did not realize today was the 4th. They marched with heavy rucksacks and little water to quench their thirst. The most the men enjoyed while on a break from their tedious march was watermelon from a farmer's field.
More sobering was watching Jason Pautch's memorial video.
It is sobering reflections such as these, that remind me of an experience I had while in Basic Training, and thus the reason to write this account to give a shout out to PFC Desmond T. Doss ~ Concientious Objector.
As a recruit in Basic Training (OSUT, Ft. McClellan, AL) one of the requirements to meet, as any soldier knows, is qualifying on an M16 rifle. My unit had been out on the range on a scheduled day for qualification. Us soldiers sat on the bleachers. Though it was sunny, the day was cold, and windy. Like some, I'd attempted to qualify twice, missing the mark needed to qualify each time. As I waited for a final try, I saw other female soldiers fail completely. I knew they would be restarts, and have to go back through Basic Training. I knew I could not go through Basic a second time ~ it was sheer hell in my opinion. I had to qualify on that M16 rifle or be damned.
My third attempt came. Rifle in hand, I climbed into the pit, adjusted myself, and aimed. As I aimed, I prayed ever so hard that this time, this third time, I'd pass this test before me. I recalled a verse in my Bible at that time, and it went through my mind and then left. My breathing slowed, my eye was on the target. I felt a calm settle over me, and then I saw Him.
I saw Jesus walking along the road to Emmaus and He wasn't recognized by his two disciples. The disciples walked for a time with Jesus, never recognizing him until the final destination. When they sat with Jesus then and He broke bread, their eyes were opened. I have told this experience many times, and some say I did not experience this. Yet, I did. And that day on the range, for the third and final attempt at qualifying, I qualified. I wouldn't be a restart and I would move on to AIT, the final weeks of training for the MOS I'd chosen and to becoming a (lean, green Army fighting machine) soldier in the United States Army.
Why did I qualify that third time? It had to be Faith. I have always known a Higher power, and I knew I did not do it alone that day. I needed God to help me and so it was my eyes were opened like Jesus' disciples. In addition, I knew someone had to be praying for me. For my success.
Prayer is so powerful.
And it was prayer that PFC Desmond T. Doss believed in and reveled in before going on the battlefield when America was at war with Japan. Because of his Seventh Day Adventist beliefs, he refused to carry a weapon, or kill anyone during his tour. He was an Army medic.
As I watched 'The Concientious Objector', I learned that at one point, when two platoons of soldiers were headed out to the battle, Doss asked the commander for permission to pray for Platoon A, his platoon. It was granted. Platoon A returned unscathed; Platoon B lost many lives that day.
At a point when a particular fight was heavy, blood and death copious, Doss removed more than 75 soldiers from the battle grounds, carrying them to an escarpment's edge and using a knot and loop learned as a young boy, lowered each man down to his brothers in arms.
In all these feats, Doss was unharmed. It was reported a Japanese soldier had Doss in his sights, prepared to fire on him and each time his gun jammed. Doss did become injured, but even then while being taken to friendly lines for treatment, saved a soldier who'd been shot in the head. He simply rolled off the transport gurney he was on and administered aid.
For his bravery and heroic service, PFC Desmond T. Doss, recieved the Medal of Honor. Need I say a shout out goes to this brave soldier?
So as I sit here writing this, I think about our soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, and who are deployed to other areas around the world. On this great day, July 4th, when some of them don't even know it is such a day, I pray that there are millions of prayerful Americans praying for them. Prayer is so needed to be offered up for our troops.
There is power in prayer.
Prayer fosters Faith, Faith can imbue our soldiers with Determination and Resilience. That chain in and of itself, can bring those who are to come home, home to American soil, home.
Like PFC Desmond T. Doss, Prayer will allow our soldiers to hold on when morale is nowhere in sight. The strength of Prayer by many is more powerful than anything ever invented.
It is 1:33 a.m. here on the NW coast of Florida. There are still fireworks going off as the day's celebration wanes. No matter what your thoughts are regarding this war our country has been involved in for the past nine years, please take a moment to pray for all our soldiers. They need our prayer ever so much.
God Bless! I leave you in Peace,
~~~ I am given permission to believe how I believe, yet I must believe firmly ~~~
Copyright © 2010 Satice James, All Rights Reserved.