I was 9 years old when WWII started. As a kid I was fascinated by all things military, especially the navy. I had cardboard models of all of America’s war aircraft hanging by threads from the ceiling of my bedroom. I knew more about the geography of the Western Pacific than most kids my age. My dad had spent 6 years in the navy in the 30’s, and I was proud of him. During the latter part of WWII my brother served on a small aircraft carrier in the Western Pacific, so I knew the fear of having a family member in danger.
Later many of my high school classmates were in the Marine Corps Reserve and were called to fight and die in Korea as soon as the war started. So I was surrounded by military people.
I served in the navy for 4 years, one year in electronics school, two years on Guam and a year on a destroyer. I was on Guam during most of the Korean conflict and was in the Pacific on a destroyer when our navy was patrolling from Formosa to China, right after that war.
My youngest son served 6 years in the navy, partly on a nuclear submarine. So you might say I have a soft spot in my heart for servicemen and women and for our veterans.
Armistice Day, commemorating one of the bloodiest wars in human history, was rightly combined with Veteran’s Day to honor all those who served in all periods of our country’s history. God bless each man and woman who served or is serving, and God bless those who stayed home and waited for their return, or served with them on posts around the world.
I began my journey to faith in a Quonset hut chapel on Guam and in the Sunday services on the fantail of a destroyer in the Pacific. Navy chaplains brought us the Word wherever we were. Sometimes they had to come aboard via a highline between ships and they were present in the thick of the battles in Korea. They were God’s true servants.
While several strategies for reopening the world are being discussed, I encourage you—the people of God everywhere—to allow this season to be a formative one during which you can make new discoveries about God and increase your faith. Use this time to embark on a life of prayer, a life of study, and a life of action—involvement in the community.”