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I am in awe of the men and women who enlist in the armed forces. Their bravery is something to be admired.

My pastor said when he joined the marines in 1966 that he was told at bootcamp that only 20% of the men with him would return alive. They were expecting them to go to Vietnam. I wrote a post about my pastor here.

My boss, a retired lieutenant colonel from the Marine Corps, hosts a Marine Corps birthday cake cutting every year in our office. He and another marine read the current letter from the commandant and then cut the cake with a sword.  This is always something the office looks forward to celebrating with these proud marines.

In the last several months I’ve been reading non-fiction. For some reason, fiction hasn’t interested me as much and it shows in my inability to write my own fiction, but I’m working on it.

Amongst the non-fiction books that I’ve been reading is a series of biographies about veterans.

One that had me crying was Fearless: The Undaunting Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator, Adam Brown. Adam Brown wanted his story told, not because of his courage, but because he thought his story of addiction could help someone else. And I think that is the true nature of the men and women who join the military. They want to help others.

Another fascinating story, Hope Unseen: The Triumphant Faith of Scotty Smiley, I discovered accidentally when searching for another book in the Durham Library.  Scotty was blinded with shrapnel from a car bomb. He has since gone on to earn a Master’s degree from Duke Univ. and teach at his alma mater, West Point.

And finally, I had the privilege in my writing career, to hear Jeff Struecker speak at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. Jeff’s battle story is found in the movie Black Hawk Down. He has written the book, The Road to Unafraid. I haven’t read this one yet, but I intend to.

The common thread in these books–faith and courage.

Our men and women in the military are all courageous, and I salute all who are serving and have served today.

Thank you for your service. I am truly grateful for your sacrifices.

I challenge my readers to read these books.

2 Timothy 1

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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