One of my soldiers was even pulled into the web of deceit that this bad leader wove, trying to cover his tracks.  He and his enablers tried to make my soldier a scapegoat, suggesting that my soldier had acted in a cowardly manner during the convoy incident.  Of course, these accusations against my soldier were so absurd since my soldier had absolutely no responsibility for or authority over the convoy or over the particular situation (the casualty).  Furthermore, I knew my soldier and knew the character of my soldier, and knowing this, I knew in my heart that the accusations were despicably false.  My soldier was in the convoy as a staff “ride-along,” a program which the general had initiated as a way to give the headquarters staff a small taste of the hard and dangerous work that our soldiers were going into on a daily basis (although we ourselves were already in constant danger from the regular and highly erratic mortar and rocket attacks on our base).  The ride-along was actually a good idea in theory but didn’t turn out that well in execution and eventually just gradually died out after the general lost interest and forgot about it with so many other responsibilities. 

Some of the staff such as myself welcomed the chance to get out of the operations room, to get “outside the wire,” to see some of the Iraqi towns and countryside (mostly arid desert in our region), to see what our younger troops were experiencing, and to understand the conditions in which they were conducting their missions.  Other staff members were not too happy about being put in danger or discomfort (yes, we had some “drugstore cowboys” or “spotlight soldiers” who weren’t too keen on getting their hands dirty).  Furthermore, we suspected that some of these reluctant soldiers were harboring a little bit of fear themselves that they wouldn’t admit to.  But at least I and my team (including my soldier who was unjustly accused in the coverup) were brave and dedicated enough to willingly take part in the ride-alongs.  In fact, it was I and my team that were among the first to sign up.  And since I always believe in setting the example, I jumped at the chance to ride in the convoy and wholeheartedly committed to the experience.  It was a great adventure for me.  I have absolutely no fear of death or injury. 

I know that my God is in control, He has my days numbered, and that He will not let anything happen to me that He has not already carefully weighed and deeply pondered.  Moreover, knowing how much He loves me, I know that He does not want harm to come to me and will not allow anything to happen to me that I cannot handle or cope with.  So I have grown to fear nothing and nobody.   This is not to suggest that I am superhuman, but I truly believe in my God with all my heart, and He has proven Himself to me over and over throughout my life, so I trust Him and His plan for my life without question.  Moreover, He has taken me through so many harrowing experiences and gotten me through unscathed that I completely understand and believe such Bible verses as Isaiah 43:2:  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”

Still more on this tomorrow.  I pray that you will have a restful or productive Saturday. 


 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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