Day 162: A Soldier's Perspective

This was sent to me by a reader, KD Page. KD sent me this about the Armor of God as told from the perspective of an Army Solider. It is so incredible I had to share it with you. I have been saving it for the end of this series. I hope you love it as much as I did.

Hi Carol,

I know we are simply friends on facebook. I presume, outside of facebook, you know little of me and my past. When we have been in each other's presence, I have often been Nick James's shadow . . . Anyway, since we have been friends on facebook, I have followed your blog. Your recent posts on Ephesians 6:10-18 have really touched a very sensitive place in my heart.

I am a soldier, an Army combat medic to be exact. Joining the military was the best worst decision of my life. My experiences have left deep scars and painful memories, ones that I struggle with on a daily basis since my return from Afghanistan. However, those experiences have made me stronger. They helped mold me into becoming the person the Lord intended His creation to be.

Being a soldier, I have found a deep personal love for The Armor of God. Many Christians today don't see that we are fighting a spiritual war. They don't aknowlege the presence of an unseen enemy that waits patiently for the right moment to attack. They don't know how quickly they can fall when ambushed. If you don't know you're in a fight, you will lose everytime. There are a few that realize that we are in the middle of the longest war known in the universe. Those are the ones that train and prepare and learn to use the tools God has given us to take part in His victory. When I read Ephesians 6:10-18 I think of the equipment I wore evertime I went out on mission.

My belt: It was issued to me during my first few days of basic training. It's the only belt I have ever worn. Whether I have been crawling through the mud or sweating in the hot desert, I have worn that belt. It has never frayed, or stretched, or even becomed discolored over the years. I have had to replace every other item I have been issued, but not that belt. It's reliable and always with me. That's the truth.

My breastplate: The body armor I wore was a vest that had four plates (one front, one back, and two on the sides) and it weighed nearly 20 pounds. When we were issused these vests I took my time choosing the proper size and fit. Most of the other soldiers just took what they were handed. I just couldn't do that. This was something that was supposed to save my life when things took a turn for the worse. It was designed to stop an AK-47 round at point-blank range. I wanted to make sure I did everything in my power to get the right vest for me. I wanted to be fully protected and be able to move in it. I am a medic. I need to be able to move to the wounded as quickly as possible. My life and the lives of others depended on this piece of equipment. The next morning we had to wear all of our gear to formation. My squad leader went down the file asking each soldier how they liked their new vest. Most of the answers were complaints. "It's heavy!" or "It's uncomfortable!" When he got to me, I answered, "I feel like Superman. Nothing can hurt me." A part of me really believed that.

My boots: I love my combat boots. I hate breaking them in, but once they are, oh buddy, they are the best! Are they pretty? No. Are they the most comfortable shoes I own? Nope. Are they EXACTLY what I need in order to get to where I am going? Yes. They are tough. They are durable. They are meant to get dirty. I can run in them, march for miles in them, I have even danced in them. No matter what I am doing as a soldier, they are perfect.

My shield: I drove an uparmored Humvee in Afghanistan. Just imagine, a Humvee with half-inch thick steel plating all over it. The windows were made of 6-inch safety glass designed to stop a sniper round. (I have witnessed this marvelous safety feature personally. There was a nice chunk of glass missing from the window on my side of the vehicle right where my head was.) The entire vehile was designed to protect those in it from bombs, bullets, and RPGs. When my team was out on mission, my guys would not let me leave the vehicle unless the area was secure. The safest place was inside my truck. The team wanted me safe, so I would be there to save their lives and the lives of others. On many of the longer missions, I would sleep in the truck. It was my second home.

My helmet: 8 pounds of Kevlar. Yep. It was heavy. It was ugly. It had one purpose: to keep my brain inside my skull. I hated wearing it most of the time. In fact, there was one day when I had observation duty that I took it off because I didn't think I needed it. I was in a tower. There wasn't a threat in the area. It was hot, and sweat poured down my forehead into my eyes. My complacency was nearly my undoing. Halfway through my shift there was an explosion in my section. I didn't really believe it had happened, so I waited and listened to the radio traffic. Ten minutes later there was another explosion. My tower trembled and shook because of the shockwaves produced by the mortar's impact. Yep, it was real. First thing I did was put on my helmet. I was fully protected and felt more secure with it on.

My sword: Medics have a choice when it comes to using weapons. If we follow the Geneva Convention we cannot use weapons if we want to have protective rights as medical personnel. I'm fairly certain terrorist don't really sit around reading the Geneva Convention or take the time to see who they are not supposed to kill in combat. Because of this, I learned how to be very proficient with every weapon I had at my disposal, but my personal favorite was my M-4 rilfe (nicknamed Mikey). Everything else I had to put on was for defense from the enemy's attacks, but my rifle was the only thing I had that could actually do some damage to the enemy. I learned to shoot expert at 300 yards without a scope. (If I have to kill someone, I want them to be dead far away from me.) Hours upon hours were spent firing round after round just to learn how to use that rifle properly. It went with me wherever I had to go. Gym, chow hall, I even took it with me to the bathroom. I always had to keep it with me because I never knew when I would need it. I slept with my rifle while I was in Afghanistan. It became an extention of me. My hands still have calluses from holding that rifle all day, everyday. When I came back to the States, it felt weird to not have a rifle with me. I had to have something in my hands to provide some sort of comfort. Walking around with a rifle would alarm a few folks, so I had to settle for keeping my cell phone or car keys in my hands at all times. (My iPhone is now permanently attached to my right hand.)

I have been told that my experiences in the Army will help me grow as a Christian. I know that it has changed the way I see the world and those in it. There are many other stories I have, but that will be for one day when I have my own blog, I guess. I felt lead to share this point of view with you. Most of the literature I have come across on the Armor of God presents everything in the Roman style of armor. That was what they had back then, and it was great for the wars they were fighting then. I just wanted to give you a little modern spin on it. The enemy has evolved in his strategy and tactics, but so have we.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and providing encouragement to so many through your blog.

All that to say, The enemy has evolved in his strategy and tactics. Profound. KD, thank you for what you are doing for our country. God bless you.

1 comment:

Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.