I Want You
J. D. Pendry
Our God and soldiers we alike adore
Evín at the brink of danger; not before;
After deliverance, both alike requited,
Our Godís forgotten, and our soldiers slighted.† ĖFrances Quarles, 1632
Dear Mr. President:
Iím an old Soldier who was never very good at keeping his opinions to himself.† Soldiers value candor.† Good commanders do too.† The millions of Americans in uniform are my family.† Each week, I share thoughts with some of them and others.† I hope you donít mind if I let them listen in on this.
Our Nationís leaders (even the Democrats) and Soldiers are at the top of the prayer list at Church and home.† We believe our message is getting through to the Big Commander in Chief, but think itís being garbled in retransmission to our political leaders.† All of the sophisticated communications equipment around the Capitol must be on the wrong frequency.
This week, I intended to write about the difficulties that military recruiters face.† Counter recruiters, anti-war politicians, negative news stories Ėa whole litany of problems.† I studied the topic to learn what we did during other times when we needed young people to step up and serve.† Before World War I, for instance, we had 100,000 poorly trained and ill-equipped regular Army soldiers with which to build the peak force of nearly four million that eventually overwhelmed the Germans.† Youíd be hard-pressed to find an American who felt threatened by war then, unless he was unfortunate enough to go sailing on an ocean liner or was in the trenches.† Still, Americans supported because her leaders asked them to.† The whole country went to war.
President Kennedy, ď...bear
any burden, oppose any foeÖĒ committed American Soldiers to the jungles of
If politicians, once theyíd
gotten us into it had left the business of war to Soldiers, the outcome in
Mr. President, some great
minds advise you.† Iím sure they do it
well, but might I be so forward as to offer some thoughts?†
Itís time for you to lead
sir.† Soldiers admire leaders willing to
get out front and turn the bureaucracy upside down to solve problems.† We need you to look the anti-military and
anti-war politicians and news media in the eye, and tell them what they are
Mr. President, you have
nothing left to run for or from.†
Politicians, who should be helping you, sadly, are too focused on their
political careers to look out for my family.†
We know you desire to take the Christian approach.† When weíre taught to love our neighbors
(which include opposing politicians) as ourselves, it means we wish the same
good things for them as we wish for ourselves.†
It does not mean that we must accept or tolerate their behavior.† Mr. President, itís time for you to open up a
tall can of
Please give my regards to the First Lady and the Girls.
Read Paul Schneidmill's Weekly Devotional
J.D. Pendry is author of The Three Meter Zone, Random House/Ballantine.
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