Tuesday, July 05, 2005

"I am an American soldier..."

Staff Sgt. Spike Goodrich

"I am an American Soldier."

That's how Army Staff Sergeant Spike Goodrich began his speech yesterday at 101QFL/Radio 91's Patriotic Prayer Breakfast. "I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade."

Goodrich then went on to recite the rest of the Soldier's Creed, and to relate it with his own walk with Christ, both as an Operation Desert Storm veteran and a sergeant in Iraq.

We've had big-name speakers at the Prayer Breakfast before--Ollie North, Tim Lee, and Darrell Scott come to mind--but I was impressed and moved by this simple talk from an ordinary soldier.

Goodrich spoke simply but movingly of narrow escapes from death in Iraq. He spoke of the difficulty of spending 15 months away from his wife and two small boys. Back in 1991, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia when his son was just two days old.

He also expressed gratefulness for people who pray for the troops, and it moved me to pray more.

Thanks, Spike Goodrich and thousands more like you who serve our country faithfully. I appreciate you deeply.

Writing the troops

During Operation Desert Storm, I was emotionally involved, because my brother David was a Marine deployed on the USS Tarawa in the Persian Gulf. I wrote several service people through the Any Service Member program, and ended up establishing pen-pal relationships with members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, both male and female. The letter-writing (e-mail wasn't so prevalent then) personalized the conflict for me, and brought much-needed word from home to the troops I wrote.

Fast forward some fifteen years--e-mail is common, and even troops in remote places have internet access. Letters to "any service member" are no longer encouraged due to anthrax threat, but I've discovered that you can post messages to the troops on www.anyservicemember.org.

You can also "Adopt a Soldier" and encourage the troops in various ways by going to www.soldiersangels.org.

These troops are doing so much for us--the least we can do is give them our encouragement and support!

Hey, I'm a tropical storm!

This is the first time there's been a tropical storm with my name on it. I hope I won't do a lot of damage! At the very least, my husband will now have a new nickname for me whenever I freak out. :)

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