Veterans Day 2016

And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered. 2 Chronicles 31:21

November 11 marks Veteran’s Day in the USA. This date is the anniversary of the signing of the peace agreement – or armistice – which ended the World War I hostilities between Germany and the Allied nations in 1918. On this day, which is sometimes called Armistice Day, US veterans are often thanked for their services to their country.

I’ve been privileged to meet veterans from many generations who served our nation in one capacity or another. Pictured above is Ben, a WWII veteran whom I met this summer. Ben participated in 30 missions over Germany as a B-24 tail-gunner.

Ben and I got to spend the better part of three hours together as he spoke of his upbringing, time in the military, and life after the war.

Ben told me of the mission in which their B-24 was shot up so badly that it fell out of formation as it limped back to the base. Planes in this condition seldom made it back, as they were easy targets for the enemy. Ben said he prayed a lot during his missions, and this time his praying reached a new level. He truly felt he would die that day. But the Lord spared his life and those of his crew, and he obviously lived to see another day.

Ben said that both the Germans and the American planes used tracer bullets about every eighth round so they could see where their bullets were going. He told me he had been sitting in the tail-gunners position when there were actual tracers flying past him on both sides. He knew death was only inches away. Ben said the thought of being shot at and killed every time you went up is a feeling that just can’t be explained. It is terrifying.

His most rewarding work in life was after the war when he was chaplain at a Veterans Administration Hospital. He retired a few years ago at age of 90, the oldest federal worker in the nation.

Pictured above is Ben holding a photo of himself and his beloved wife, Betty, whom he married soon after WWII. They were married for sixty years before she passed away a few years ago, and Ben still misses her tremendously.

I feel truly privileged that Ben would take the time to visit with me and speak of his life of service. He is remarkably humble, and gives God the credit for sparing his life numerous times and any accomplishments he may have achieved.

Ben said his life verse is the above Scripture in 2 Chronicles. He hopes it will be read at his funeral and that the same could be said of him.

Thank you, Ben.

And thank you, Veterans.

I hope you’ll take the time to thank a veteran whenever you get a chance.

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