Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Veteran's Luncheon

Yesterday, at Bethel, thanks to Maureen King and the Senior Adult Council we had our annual Veteran's Luncheon at Bethel. It was well-attended; it always is. The speakcer was Brig. Gen. Ed Hall who has taught at Wofford College and has been a leader in the ocmmunity for many years. He talked about what it means to be a soldier. It was moving as he talked about the soldier and the families who were part of their service. Dorothy Voss led in music from the "war" era. And, we sang, ending it all with God Bless America.

It still amazes me how many are still around who served in World War II. What a wonderful group: the greatest generation. There were people who had served in WW II, Korea, and Vietnam. I have always admired those who gave/give themselves in military service to our country.

I graduated from high school in 1970 and the Vietnam War was winding down. You remember that it ended officially in 1973. As I remember, our country went to a lottery system. Each person with a Draft Card was assigned a number based on their birthday. Those with lower numbers would be called first. I remember that my number was 50. I thought I would be called, but was not. Some of my friends went, of course. Some of them died. One good friend died in a Jeep accident.

I would have gone. My family was one that believed in duty and service. I was on my way to seminary, in my first years of college. But, my number didn't come up. Since then, we've gone to an all-volunteer service method.

My churches served military people when I was in Charleston. There at least 30% of my people were active military, mostly Navy. Some were in the Air Force.

In Myrtle Beach, many were in the Air Force until the base was closed. Many others were retired military, there for the services at the base and for the beach.

Everyone prays for an end to war; the soldier prays it most. We give thanks for all those who have been willing to give themselves in service to their country.

Dave Nichols

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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