Mighty Men of Valor

Ya know, I really did post this last weekend. I know ’cause it showed up on my Facebook page. But it somehow got dropped, maybe with the changes WordPress has recently made. Anyway, here it is…maybe again.

“Some Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains…”  I Chronicles 12:8

There are a number of stories on the Old testament describing Mighty Men of Valor who fought under King David and others.  The stories of their accomplishments are astounding.  Their loyalty was absolute.

For Memorial Day, let’s remember our own Mighty Men of Valor.  I wish to start with my dear friend, Dale Shepley.  He was a Green Beret in Viet Nam and has an impressive list of decorations for service and heroism.  I don’t know much more than that about those days, because, like so many, he doesn’t like to talk about it.  After knowing him for years, it was only within the last year that he finally let me see his medals.

This Mighty Man of Valor has built a second career as –wait for it – Santa Claus.  Every Christmas he dons his custom-made Santa suit and dies his long hair and beard snow white.  He now fights for Love, Belief, Hope, and Dreams.  His weapons of choice?  Candy canes, a red sack, and a jolly laugh.

Another Mighty Man of Valor is my nephew, Paul Baker.  He is an engineer aboard the USS Mustin out of Japan.  He has grown out of a difficult childhood and into an accomplished sailor and career Navy man.  His dedication to his shipmates, his ship, and his country is an admirable thing in this self-absorbed age.

Lt. Commander Bryan Fremming is in his training queue as he prepares to become the next XO for the USS Chafee out of Hawaii.  Proud to call him my friend, I’ve been privileged to spend many hours learning ever more about the Navy, tactics, and history.  The amount of knowledge and range of subjects a US Navy officer must possess is staggering.  Brian does it, seemingly without effort.  The responsibility he will carry for the lives of the Chafee when he assumes his duties is weighty.  But, along with the others, he is a Mighty Man of Valor, dedicated to his ship and his country.

Even more than these are US men of renown as remembered by The Congressional Medal of Honor Society.  If you really want to honor our country’s hero’s, if you really want Monday to be a Memorial Day to those who sacrifice for our country, visit the website.  Read some of the stories of men who won the nation’s highest honor.  Wonder at their selflessness, at their sacrifice, at their bravery.  Even more, wonder at all of the men and women whose stories are known only to God, as their sacrifices were made in the fog of battle with no witnesses who survived to tell their tale.

 Thank God there are such Might Men, and Women, of Valor.  Thank God we live in a country that inspires such sacrifice.

 Read about our country’s heroes at http://www.cmohs.org/living-recipients.php

 Celebrate not just the day, but the Mighty Men of Valor God has blessed us with.

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