Tag Archives: troops

Christmas is only 15 Days Away! Let’s Pray!

Adopt our Troops in Prayer.  I just adopted John V. who is in the army and is married to Aubrie.  I will be praying for them daily!

Today is a good day to pray for our Troops!

As our military faces great scrutiny during this hustle-and-bustle of holiday activity 2009, and the talking-news-channel- heads denounce our presence in other countries, even questioning humanitarian efforts, there are those who are serving us faithfully, night and day.  Regardless of our own political opinions and views (which they defend our right to have), they deserve our prayers.

An email forward, of all things.

This came in one of those pass-it-on emails.  I have no idea who wrote it, but it reminded me of young men and women, especially right now when we hold our families close and celebrate Christmas with gifts and gatherings and eggnog and merriment, who are already in Iraq or Afghanistan or other nations around the world or will be deployed shortly.  And I am sobered and humbled by their sacrifice.  And reminded to pray. 

Part Boy.  Part Man.

The average age of the military man is 19 years.  He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as part man, part boy.   He’s not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.  He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father’s, but he has never collected unemployment either.


He’s a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.  He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.
He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.  He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry and knows how to fold his socks the right way.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you’re thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He’ll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life – or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.
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He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed..

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to ‘square-away ‘ those around him who haven’t bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.  In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.


He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.   Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And let us not forget the women also serving over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.  No entitled princesses here.


 ‘Lord, hold our troops in Your loving hands… Give them strength and courage as they protect and serve.  Guide them through their missions and be a shield before them.  Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need… Amen.’

Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine, or Airman, prayer is the very best one.  Please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan , sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq , Afghanistan and all foreign countries.


Yeah.  I can’t help it.  I am patriotic and these faces?  Bring out the protective mama in me.

Thank-You on Veteran’s Day

I don’t even know how you really say thank-you to all of the men and women who have selflessly, with great courage and bravery, protected our nation and the freedoms we enjoy.  I know that all the blessings we have as American citizens has come at a great price, a great sacrifice.  So, today, I want to remember and thank God for all who have served and for those who are serving.  And I want to remember some who are special to me.

Ova Dean Baker.   “Grandpa Baker”

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Grandpa Baker was an ornery old cuss.  He is now deceased but lives big in my memory!  Thank-you for serving our country, Grandpa, and for marrying my Grandma and raising her babies as your own. You were a hero in so many ways.

Donald Baker, the day he left for Viet Nam.  “Uncle Donald.”

donald-baker-leaving-for-viet-nam uncle-donald-1966

Uncle Donald used to babysit me and play Beatles records and say “Your mom wears combat boots, ” which was simply not true.  He was a rascal of an uncle who impacted my life more than he knows.  I love him him because he reads my blog sometimes and gets very soft-hearted (his wife told me).  Thank-you Uncle Donald for being a kid who went to war and became a bigger-than-life hero to me and all of your nieces and nephews when there weren’t many to be found.  I love you!

Everett Allison.  “Grandpa Allison.”


He served in WWII with a wife and 5 children at home.  He managed to do that and still be an amazing husband and father all at once.  He called me “Debbie Jean” the only person in the world who did, and wrote me actual letters – in the mail!  I admired him so much and miss him deeply.  He was like a movie star to me and since he passed a way a few years ago, the night sky has never again shined as brightly.

Raymond Rhoades, Dave’s Dad


Thank-you, dad for serving your country with honor.  There is nothing we love more than getting you talking about all you remember and the ways you saw the faithful hand of God at work in your behalf when you served in Germany during WWII.  It is hard to believe how young you were and how much of your faith was being built and perfected during those long days away.  You have lived an admirable life and have our deepest love and respect.  Thank-you for serving your country and showing us how to have honor and respect and love for this country.

Garry Rhoades (Dave’s brother) and his son  Tim Rhoades (our nephew).


Our nephew Tim is still in the Army National Guard.  This is him a couple of years ago with his maternal grandfather (Mr. Raymond Groves, now deceased), a veteran, his paternal grandfather (Dad Rhoades, see above),  and his father Garry Rhoades, Dave’s brother.  Garry passed away a year and a half ago having suffered medical problems due to Agent Orange exposure during his time in Viet Nam.  He was never bitter, never blamed the military.  Garry remained a patriotic citizen until the day he died, so proud to have served his country.  Thank-you, gentlemen, all of you, so much.   And Tim?  God bless you and keep you!  We have you in our hearts!

And God bless those serving actively today!

Thank-you  to all who have served, thank-you so much.  In my struggle to express my gratitude (me, a person who is rarely at a loss for words), my friend Marie wrote beautifully.  You may read her lovely, heartfelt words here.

With great gratefulness…Jeanie