The greatest honor I had during my military career was being in the presence of those I served with side-by-side. A commonality with these men and women was their humility—don’t get me wrong, they were not complacent, they certainly were not weak…they were willing. When the time came for someone to stand up and say “Send me” they did not hesitate.
This Memorial Day I am running a “Beer Mile” with some friends who I have much respect for and who humbly serve in their own right through the YMCA. A “Beer Mile” is a fun event when you run a ¼ mile, stop to drink a beer, and repeat 3 more times (I do not recommend this as a regular fitness regime). We are doing this to celebrate the promotion of a friend who is moving on to bigger challenges where I know he will do great things. Others are at the lake, the park, and the wherever and are having a wonderful long weekend and that is fantastic!
But among this fun and celebration; it is Memorial Day. It is a day we need to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms—yes, even the freedom to disagree! Please take some time from your weekend to think about them and thank those who when the call came out, said “Send me.”
In remembrance, and I know all four would approve, I am dedicating each leg of the “Beer Mile” and will stop to toast four brothers who when the order came out to go said, “Send me”.
So, cheers and heartfelt gratitude to you and your families:
- Lap 1: To Pat—who gave his life during a military training exercise sharpening his skills to help others
- Lap 2: To Doc —who lost his life to a lingering disease from the Vietnam War
- Lap 3: To Garfield—a Bronze Star recipient who ran into the danger zone
- Lap 4: To “Oak” a.k.a. Major Okenkowski—an A-10 Warthog pilot shot down because he stayed to protect
Isaiah 6:8 says “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” If you read the previous parts of Isaiah you find a man whose self-worth was pretty bad. Because of who he was and what he had done he never felt like he could do any good. Once he humbly gave his life to God, he realized his weaknesses, his fears, his doubts, but he trusted in something bigger than himself. He trusted in God and the call to serve others and then he did amazing things!
When God calls us, do we say “Here I am, send me”?