Archive for August, 2010

Remembering Vietnam War vets

August 27, 2010

An interesting story came to me this week from Tennessee native and Army chaplain Roger Criner who is stationed at Fort Knox in Fort Knox, Ky.

Col. Criner sent me a story from the Fort Knox Turrret which will be reprinted in next week’s Baptist and Reflector. The story concerned a celebration held Aug. 26 at Fort Knox to “welcome home” veterans of the Vietnam War.

Criner and fellow chaplan Mickey Foxworth, both Vietnam War vets, recalled that many Vietnam War veterans were not welcomed home after the war ended in 1975. Rather, they were jeered and rejected.

As someone who turned 18 the year after the war ended, I did not have to be drafted and go to Vietnam. But I know people who did. One of my good friends today is Jerry Currey, a Vietnam War vet who lost his eyesight, a leg and received multiple other injuries in that war. Today he still bears those scars, but he remains a marvelous witness for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I have heard Jerry comment on how Vietnam War soldiers were treated. He remembers protesters at their ship as they were leaving for Vietnam. He described it as “devastating.” What a shame. Jerry Currey and countless other men and women were simply serving their country. They deserved respect, not rejection and ridicule.

Criner noted that soldiers who return home today are provided a welcome home ceremony regardless of the time of day or night when they return. He said the ceremony at Fort Knox is “correcting a neglect” that happened decades ago.

Criner said he hopes the ceremony held at Fort Knox will “bring about healing from war wounds of 40-plus years ago.”

That’s my hope and prayer as well.

Facebook or Face Time

August 20, 2010

Hurray for Woodlands Church near Houston, Texas.

Baptist Press ran an interesting story Aug. 19 about an effort this church is leading, entitled National Facebook Fast.

The idea behind the effort is to challenge people to refrain from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, cell phones and even computers for one day to focus on building face-to-face relationships for one day — Aug. 25.

In other words, the church is encouraging people to have conversations with each other.

I can’t totally bash the social media. After all, I just got into the 21st century and some of you are reading this because you responded to a Twitter, but there is something to be said for this church’s effort.

We are losing something important when we rely on Facebook, e-mails or text messages to converse with each other. We need “face time” as much as we need Facebook.

Some time during the next week, schedule face time with friends and family, whether it be over a lunch table in a restaurant or the dinner table at home. It might even become a habit.

A true saint

August 16, 2010

Yesterday, Aug. 15, I celebrated 29 years of marriage to Joyce Day Wilkey.

In relating that information to a friend today (Aug. 16), he laughed and said Joyce was a true saint.

I can’t disagree.

God blessed me more than I could have ever imagined 29 years ago when he allowed me to become her husband.

Over the years our love for each other has grown as we have become true “help mates” for each, more so her with me than the other way around I am sad to say. Joyce has been my best friend, my encourager, you name it throughout our marriage. As with most marriages, we went through some difficult times, but we have held true to “until death do you part.” We have survived the removal of a kidney (hers), colon cancer (me), the loss of our first child and numerous other difficulties along the way.

Through it all, we learned to lean on each other, and most importantly, God.

I am thankful God gave me a Christian wife who has “put up” with my foolishness over the years. I have been truly blessed by a true saint.

Don’t cross the road without looking

August 5, 2010

I was driving in Nashville a few days ago and I was amazed at how many people within a 15-minute period crossed the road, a busy road at that, without looking.

Did they not listen to their mother those many years ago?

And mind you, this took place in a busy part of town on streets with a lot of traffic.

Two people in particular stood out. One man was walking his dog across a busy street. After dodging him I went on to take care of my errand and came back about 10 minutes later. Believe it or not, the same guy was walking his dog back across the street, again without looking.

My favorite, however, was the guy who was totally immersed in a cell phone conversation. He not only crossed the road without checking for oncoming traffic, he walked down the center of it for awhile before he finally woke up and got out of the way of traffic.

I am just glad that all the drivers, including myself, were paying attention to those folks who were not.

And, apparently, God was looking out for those people because they were definitely not looking out for themselves.

I can’t complain about that. God has often bailed me out of trouble, sometimes when I didn’t know it was around. I am grateful for that.

But, I can honestly say that I do look both ways before crossing the road.