Every time I read a post on a military blog I feel so much pride that we have such fine young men and women serving our great country, I could burst. This is an excerpt from a post that was written this month by devildog6771 and I recomend you click this link and read the entire post. It does America proud!
Our military is not just an instrument of war — Blogpost From: Hello Iraq
Since the early days when the first settlers came to America and founded our great nation, brave men and women have defended our nation from enemies, both foreign and domestic. When enemies attacked the early settlers men and women stood toe to toe, side by side, fighting off the attackers. Later, militias were formed. Though there were no women in the militias as far as I can determine, the women still looked after the home front while their men defended them in battle. They established undergrounds and performed many great deeds of courage.
From the very inception of our nation, we Americans, a hodge podge nation of European poor, indentured, wealthy, educated, and uneducated, all walks of social and economic life, came to America; and, did what Europe and no single nation previously could, united as a single body of people under one flag, one constitution, and one common ideal, democracy, and became the great nation we are today.
by devildog6771 from the heart on 11/12/08
A quote from Mohandmas Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.
I think that quote best describes what happens when our young people enter the military!
Update: 12/22/08 – Just a reminder, it is not too late to give a gift of love and support for our troops. Please log on and give a troop in harms way the gift of hearing the voices they love on Christmas Day! No gift can fill more hearts with joy for just $18!!!
Now that “Black Friday Sales” are happening, I would like to suggest how to put “the spirit of Christ” back into Christmas.
As we all know, with a tough economy it is going to be a rough time this Christmas Season. So this is my plan.
The AAFES (Online Military Exchange Store) is making it possible to buy phone cards for deployed troops at the PX discount rate and tax free!!! You can go here and look at all the great things you can do for our troops at the website. www.aafes.org
So, what is my plan? Every gift I buy will come accompanied with a card telling the recipient that a soldier, sailor, airmen or marine will be recieving $20 worth of gift minutes on their behalf to talk to their loved ones over the holiday season! My Christmas gift to me will be as many minutes as I can afford and as many prayers as I can offer to families who are waiting for their trooper to come home safe and sound. What better way to say thank you to our troops and their families who support them. I think I may well get excited this holiday season. Thanks to our Dept. of Defense for making the discount, tax free minutes so easy to get over the holiday!
Merry Christmas to our Troops!
The song you are about to listen to is from a standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it!. They received an immediate resounding
Everyone who loves America should be thrilled to hear this song! Although,
But sadly, major radio stations wouldn’t play it, because it was considered ‘politically incorrect’ … consequently, the song was never released to the public.
So America , see what you think, and grab the youtube link and share with everyone you know. It is a beautiful and meaningful song.
Thank you all who have served and all who are serving our country. May God always bless each and every one of you for your selfless service and sacrifice and bless your families and loved ones for supporting your service. You are all Great Americans and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Thank you American Military and Veterans!!!
John 11:11-16 – Lesson #113
[Note: This is the verse by verse devotional series on the gospel of John. My original plan was to send out a new message in this series every Friday – but I’ve not been very consistent with this plan. All the previous lessons in this series are located on our web site.]
One of the mistakes I believe we are making in the church today is our rush to focus Christianity on the cross. Now please understand what I mean. The cross is absolutely essential – without the cross there is no forgiveness of sin, no Christianity. But isn’t it also true that Christianity is something more. Didn’t Jesus live among us as well as die for us? And in His living didn’t He teach us truths and show us how to live and mature in our faith?
The disciples walked with Jesus hour after hour and day after day. Jesus could have focused all His teaching on His future sacrifice for sin, but He didn’t. Sure, He often demonstrated He was the Son of God; and He made sure His claims were clear; “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28). But His technique for discipleship usually required wrestling with issues of trust and prioritized values. It seems there are steps of maturity which can only be taken as they are lived out through various struggles.
Jesus received word that Lazarus was sick but then waited two days before saying He would return to Judea. The disciples were content to wait because the Jews in Judea had already tried to kill Jesus – safety and comfort are good, aren’t they? But Jesus taught that true safety is only found by walking in His light (John 11:9-10).
“These things He said, and after that He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.’ Then His disciples said, ‘Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.’ However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.’ Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with Him.'”
Jesus waited for Lazarus to die and then was glad He had not been with Lazarus to stop his death. Why? Because Jesus was committed to the long and painful process of discipleship. The disciples already believed, but they needed the deepening belief of a maturing faith. The disciples were learning lessons on facing their fears, trusting God’s timing, and the glory of His power. And these lessons could not be learned from a sermon.
The disciples had no idea what Jesus had planned. But when Thomas realized that Jesus was resolved to go to Lazarus in spite of the danger, he too resolved to follow…even unto death. This seems to be the method by which Jesus led His disciples. Over a period of several years they were allowed to struggle with what it really meant to follow, what it really meant to believe.
Today, the plan of discipleship is much the same. We are often led down paths we do not understand. We ask questions and receive confusing answers. We wrestle and become weary. And still He calls, “Let’s go!” And I suppose that’s the point. We just don’t need all the answers. We are simply called to follow and live out the life we have been given in Christ. This is a life which loves God and reaches out to others at every opportunity. Let’s learn to trust Him with all our heart and follow intimately close every hour of every day to the very end.
This is last years post, but it had some good information about the Marines and I thought I’d stick it at the top and wish the United States Marine Corps a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!
BRIEF: Marine Corps Plans Birthday Celebrations
Publication date: 2008-11-06
By Journal-World, Lawrence, Kan.
Nov. 6–Lawrence area Marines and former Marines will gather on Monday to celebrate their corps’ 233rd birthday.
The annual Marine Corps birthday party will start at 10:30 a.m. in Kansas University’s Dole Institute of Politics. Those attending will see a video recording of a speech by Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway.
The guest speaker attending the event will be retired Maj. Gen. David A. Richwine, a 1965 KU graduate.
He is a Vietnam veteran who went on to hold a variety of positions and commands throughout his career.
When he retired, he was serving at Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C., as first chief information officer, the assistant chief of staff, command, control, communications, computer and intelligence and the director of intelligence.
The Lawrence High School a capella choir also will perform at the party.
Happy Birthday Marines!
Happy Birthday to the Marine Corps
Source: Greensboro News Record
Publication date: 2008-11-09
Arrival time: 2008-11-10
By HARRY THEFORD
Marines gather around the world to commemorate their 233rd birthday on Nov. 10 by “calling to mind the glories of a long and illustrious history.”
The Marine Corps Commandant’s birthday message will unnecessarily remind some Marines that they “have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and every corner of the seven seas.” “Marine has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue,” Marines 13th Commandant, Gen. John Archer Lejeune, said in 1921.
Older Marines will appreciate that recognition, younger Marines will accept the challenge to carry on. And just before the oldest Marine and youngest Marine are issued the first pieces of birthday cake, the commandant reminds them by paraphrase, “So long as this esprit de corps’ flourishes, Marines will be found equal to every emergency — as they have in the past.”
The namesake of the North Carolina Camp, Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune, was often said to be “the greatest of all leathernecks.” He was Marine Corps Commandant from 1920 through 1929. Camp Lejeune, comprising 156,000 acres along the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest Marine base in the world.
Lejeune was born in Pointe Coupee Parish, La., on the Mississippi River. He received a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and graduated from the Naval Academy. He chose to accept his commission as a Marine second lieutenant and began a 40-year career.
Interestingly, Pointe Coupee’s French-Creole plantation area was first scouted by a party of explorers sailing from Brest, France, in 1698. Keep that point in mind. Lejeune served in the Spanish-American War and in skirmishes in Panama, Philippine Islands, Cuba and Vera Cruz. In 1918, Brig. Gen. Lejeune sailed for Brest, France, completing the cycle begun when his French-Canadian explorer antecedents sailed from Brest in 1698 to explore Pointe Coupee, La. The French were probably happier to have America’s help in World War I than the Pointe Coupee folks were to see French explorers coming up the Mississippi River.
U.S. Army Gen. Pershing wasn’t all that happy, however, and first relegated Lejeune and his Marines to less than front-line duties. But Lejeune was quickly promoted to major general in July 1918 and took over the U.S. Army Second Division, the first Marine to command an Army Division. In 1919, Gen. Lejeune marched his men into Germany and became Marine Corps Commandant the following year.
Not surprisingly, Lejeune chose Nov. 10 as his Marine Corps retirement date in 1929, at which time he became superintendent of Virginia Military Academy. In retirement, he was advanced to lieutenant general in February 1942 but died in November of that same year.
Not only did Lejeune inspire Marines over the ages, he must have influenced his family as well. Buried with him in Arlington National Cemetery are a grandson, Col. James Blair Glennon, USMC, and a daughter, Maj. Eugenia P. Lejeune USMCR. Ellie Murdaugh Lejeune must have had quite a career herself as a Marine spouse, mother and grandmother. She died on the Marine Corps Birthday in 1953 and is interred at Arlington as well.
Now, for the rest of the story.
Lejeune founded the Marine Corps League in 1923, and the League’s National Convention has never been in North Carolina. That will change Aug. 8-14, 2010, at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. Would you venture a guess as to whose memory and service we will offer tribute? Great guess. Lt. Gen. John Archer Lejeune, “the greatest of all leathernecks.”
Who would have thought he would have been so big on birthdays?
By order of the commandant: Happy birthday, Marines!!!
I cannot let the passing of this brave, selfless American hero go without offering my Condolences and Gratitude to his family and loved ones and expressing the debt of Gratitude owed to him by the Nation and Corps of men he selflessly served. Heaven today is joyously recieving another fine, proud Marine and great citizen of our country. Rest in Peace Retired Marine Col. John Ripley, your duty is done and it is time for your rich reward in heaven. Thank God for men such as this one. Thank you!
Vietnam War Hero Dies at Home at 69
Source: Virginian – Pilot
Publication date: 2008-11-04
The Associated Press
Retired Marine Col. John Ripley, who was credited with stopping a column of North Vietnamese tanks by blowing up a pair of bridges during the 1972 Easter Offensive of the Vietnam War, died at home at age 69, friends and relatives said Sunday.
Ripley’s son Stephen Ripley said his father was found at his Annapolis home Saturday after missing a speaking engagement on Friday. The son said the cause of death had not been determined but it appeared his father died in his sleep.
In a videotaped interview with the U.S. Naval Institute for its Americans at War program, Ripley said he and about 600 South Vietnamese were ordered to “hold and die” against 20,000 North Vietnamese soldiers with about 200 tanks.
“I’ll never forget that order, ‘hold and die,’
” Ripley said. The only way to stop the enormous force with their tiny force was to destroy the bridge, he said. “The idea that I would be able to even finish the job before the enemy got me was ludicrous,” Ripley said. “When you know you’re not going to make it, a wonderful thing happens: You stop being cluttered by the feeling that you’re going to save your butt.”
Ripley crawled under the bridge under heavy gunfire, rigging 500 pounds of explosives
that brought the twin spans down, said John Grider Miller, a former Marine adviser in
Vietnam and the author of “The Bridge at Dong Ha ,” which details the battle.
Miller said the North Vietnamese advance was slowed considerably by Ripley. “A lot of people think South Vietnam would have gone under in ’72 had he not stopped them,” Miller said.
Ray Madonna, president of the U.S. Naval Academy’s 1962 graduating class, served in Vietnam as a Marine at the same time and said his classmate saved countless U.S. and South Vietnamese troops.
“They would have been wrecked” if the tanks had crossed, Madonna said. He said Ripley also coordinated naval gunfire that stopped the tanks from crossing at a shallower point downstream.
“He was a Marine’s Marine, respected, highly respected by enlisted men, by his peers and by his seniors,” Madonna said.
Miller said Ripley, who was born in Radford, Va., descended from a long line of veterans going back to the Revolutionary War. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1962, after enlisting in the Marines out of high school and spending a year in naval school in Newport, R.I.
He earned the “Quad Body” distinction for making it through four of the toughest military training programs in the world: the Army Rangers, Marine reconnaissance, Army Airborne and Britain’s Royal Marines, Miller said. He was also the only Marine to be inducted in the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame. Ripley earned the Navy Cross and Silver Star for his service in Vietnam. He later served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was regimental commander at Camp Lejeune, N.C., among other postings.
After retiring from the Marines, he was president and chancellor of Southern Virginia College in Lexington. Stephen Ripley said his father had a deep and tenacious love for his country, the Marine Corps and his family. “My Dad never quit anything and never went halfway on anything in his life,” he said. “He just was a full-throttle kind of person and those people that he cared about, he really cared about.”
Ripley is survived by his wife, Moline B. Ripley ; sons Stephen,Thomas and John; a daughter, Mary Ripley ; and eight grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were pending.
Update: Nov. 17,2008
EDITORIAL: John Ripley
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
Publication date: 2008-11-17
By Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.
Nov. 17–A child of Radford, John Ripley enlisted in the Marines after high school and attended the Naval Academy. He graduated in 1962, was commissioned a second lieutenant, and in 1965 went to Vietnam. His career forms the stuff of legend.
If the nation had not grown anemic, he would have been as well known as the heroes of ancient wars. Ripley never sought fame — he scorned mere celebrity — so the condition did not bother him. A roll-call of his medals suggests the nobility of his person. Navy Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (twice), Bronze Star (twice), Purple Heart. We could continue. Modesty defined the man.
During the Easter season of 1972 the Vietnamese communists descended in full force upon the South. Village after village fell as troops pressed ever on. Saigon itself seemed under threat. Capt. Ripley and his unit, which included about 600 South Vietnamese, received an order to halt an advance of 20,000 North Vietnamese, who were supported by 200 tanks. The bridge at Dong Ha was designated Ripley’s Alamo.
Amid enemy fire, he swung under the bridge to plant the explosives that brought down the span; the attack stalled as the fragments splashed into the waters and were strewn upon the ground. Historians believe that if the defense at Dong Ha had failed, South Vietnam might have collapsed there and then. The North eventually won the war, yet while the Vietnamese endured great sufferings an abject defeat in 1972 likely would have proved more costly not only to Vietnam but to the United States. A questionable involvement pursued by a dubious strategy by often ignominious leaders and undermined in the streets at home detracts not a bit from the courage of individuals such as Ripley.
Ripley’s post-service years included stints as president and chancellor of Southern Virginia College in Buena Vista and as president of Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham. As director of the Marine Corps’ History and Museums Division, he played a crucial role in the development of the National Museum of the Marine Corps that opened in 2006 in Quantico. The site is his shrine.
Last month Ripley died in Annapolis at 69. “O Judge of all nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy.” A Marine is always a Marine, and for generations hence Col. John Ripley will live in the remnant’s fond memory.
To see more of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.timesdispatch.com.
Copyright (c) 2008, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
A successful Christian business man was growing old and knew it was timeto choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.
He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. “The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued.” I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO”
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by–still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!” All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed – Jim told him the whole entire story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said?
Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But, I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.
When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!”
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust,
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends,
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness,
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective,
If you plant hard work, you will reap success,
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation,
If you plant faith in Christ, you will reap a harvest,
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.
Two thousand years ago Paul wrote to the church at Galatia the same story but with fewer words, “What you sow, so shall you reap”. (Gal. 6:7)
We are grass that will wither and die but the incorruptible seed of Gods Word will live forever – sow it daily into the life of your family! (1 Peter 1: 23 – 25)