Thank you Vets! And is there a vet you would like to share with us? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

November 11th is Veterans Day I want to thank all who post and read this board for your service to this country and your committment to freedom and democracy. Many of you had to deal with racism, yet you served with dignity and grace. God bless you!! This veterans day is even more poignant because many of our soldiers are in Iraq and around the world. I ask that on Veterans Day we take time to pray for all who have served and are serving. I also ask that we say thank you to our vets.

Please lift up the name of a vet who has touched your life?

I would like to begin by lifting up one of my spiritual mentors who is a vet. Rev. Alton Paris, God bless my brother for your service and love for all people and thank you for reaching to a small church in Montana and helping us come into the denomination.

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2003


Thank you my sister. Don't forget Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray, pastor of FAME Los Angeles. I happen to know he flew F-89 Scorpions for the Air Force and is one of my heroes. By the Grace of God he survived to do the great work of God.

Be Blessed

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2003

Thank you my brother for lifting up Dr. Cecil Murray! He is a wonderful anointed man of God and has been a great encourager and mentor to me also.I do not know how he does it but he always takes time to reach across the connection to encourage small churches. He too has become a mentor for me.

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2003

Let me first issue a mild warning. My response is somewhat long so if you don't have the time or interest just scroll down to the last paragraph :-) Mainstream black churches have recently articulated ambivalent positions about the military because of her curious liberal politics. Young men and women are discouraged to pursue a military career because of the risk involved in such a pursuit. We are frequently reminded about the corrupting influence the military imposed on miscreants like Timothy McVeigh and other vets who dishonored the institution. Many of the elite US colleges have the gall to "ban" military recruiters on activities like Career Day and cancel ROTC programs. These actions are deplorable and repugnant. By deliberately restricting choices on young men and women such actions are nothing but Facism in disguise.

The history of human civilization is fundamentally linked with the history of conflict, conquest and and war. This is an indisputable fact purged from political perspective. The Bible also acknowledges this fundamental truth. The Old Testament chronicles the sojourn of the Israelite Nation from its inception in Genesis chapter 12 to liberation activities in Exodus to possession and preservation of the "Promised Land" described in Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel and I & II Kings and culminating in the military campaigns expertly announced by the prophetic voices of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and many of the "minor" prophets. Joshua, Deborah, Sampson and David are remembered in Biblical History because they were military leaders. The idea of a Messiah in historical Jewish theology was someone who would fulfill the role of a military- spiritual leader, a worthy successor to the "throne of David". While it is true that this view of the Messiah has major theological shortcomings, it is undeniable that the Jews of Palestine during Jesus' ministry desired to be "freed" from the harsh and repressive rule by Roman authorities. One of the few instances where Jesus is genuinely impressed with humanity is described in St. Matthew 8:5- 12. Jesus makes a stunning revelation when he declares that the Roman military leader has demonstrated more faith than any person he had interacted and as a result Christ granted the request and healed the servant who was afflicted with palsy. Now the question for critics of the military is simply this: If the military is such a bad influence on our culture why would Jesus make such a remarkable admission about the Roman centurion?

On this Veteran's Day it is only right to give thanks and appreciation to all men and women who are performing or have performed the highest form of service. Military service is more important than aerospace engineeering, tenured professorships at elite colleges, playing professional sports, performing on Broadway or solving complex economic models. Servicepeople put their lives in harm's war to ensure our individual and collective liberties. One of my many foolish errors was not taking my high school counselor's advice and apply to West Point Academy. Even though I was not draft eligible (conscription was suspended) I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had listened to her and not my anti-war contemporaries.

Let me close this unusually long winded monologue, even for me, with the following comment. Too few of us, even in the AMEC, fail to appreciate the role this church has with the military. On last Sunday, during Church School, I organized a brief program to honor the vets in our local church. I began by asking those in attendance to name the AME Bishop who was the first black chaplain in the US Army. Now I knew this answer long before I became AME because I studied about him in my American history courses in college. Well, much to my chagrin and dismay, no one knew the answer yet I, a "junior" AME member as measured by length of membership, had to provide the information much to their personal embarrassment. Many AMEs do not even know we have a Commission on Chaplains. The military is arguably the best institution for cultivating leaders. The military model of leadership is emulated by other social institutions. The concept of "chain of command" and the desirable qualities of organization, focus and execution of task are quintessential military innovations. I, for one, am humbled and grateful for all vets who have honored the uniform and upheld the values it repreents during and after their service. QED

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2003

Black men and women have along and glorious history of serving in our Armed Forces. History also records that the path to equality for oppressed and enslaved peoples has been through the military. The centurian who discoursed with the Apostle Paul about Roman citizenship was one who started as a slave and through the military rose to command 100 soldiers. A comule of facts: General B. O. Davis endured four years of silence, his fellow cadets at West Point ignored him for four years, yet he rose to Command many units including his silent classmates. From Fort Worth Texas, a teacher mentored a chubby little black kid and encouraged him to join the Air Force. This kid rose through the ranks; sat at the controls of a B-47 Bomber on runway alert, a pilot ready to fly the the Soviet Union and deliver the destructive weapons at the command of the late General Curtis Lemay. That little boy who walked the halls of segregated I.M. Terrell High School is a retired 3-star general in Florida; returned to Fort worth and was honored last year. Hew stood on the shoulders of another Fort Worth native, Captian Leonard Jackson, who trained at Tuskegee Institute as part of the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first black fighter squadron that began as an experiment to prove that black men could and would fly and fight. These men proved themselves over the skies of Germany and North Africa in WW2, eventually becoming the 332nd Figher Wing and distingushed themselves. Capt. Jackson did not get all he deserved; he as an instructor pilot, was killed in the crash of a T-33 Trainer while on a cross-country flight with a white student pilot. The irony is this: Captian Jackson's mother, while returnign from his funeral in Washington National Cementary, died in the parking lot of a service station in segregated Mississippi. Black men and women are still serving in spite of non-support from the black church. Be Blessed

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2003

The late Rev. Dr. J.C. Reynolds was a Marine Corp vet. He served during the Viet Nam conflict.

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2003

Moderation questions? read the FAQ