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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the immediate concern for global leaders, but the U.S. will continue to focus on China and the Indo-Pacific as its most important competitive arena, international relations experts said.
|NATO steps up defenses over concerns Russia may use chemical attacks|
|NATO is activating nuclear, biological and chemical defenses in response to concerns that Russia may be preparing a chemical attack on Ukraine, a potential action that the alliance’s top official said Thursday could put neighboring nations at risk.|
South Korea answered its northern neighbor’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test Thursday with a volley of its own as a show of force, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
An independent review ordered this week by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will seek out ideas to stem the increasing number of suicides among soldiers stationed in Alaska and South Korea, as well as some stateside installations.
Ukraine’s stiff resistance to the Russian invasion, which has turned Moscow’s advance into a grinding war of attrition, has underscored the importance to American allies of the need to be prepared for any eventuality, the top U.S. Army commander in the Pacific said Friday.
|Biden on Russia’s Putin: `This man cannot remain in power’|
|President Joe Biden on Saturday dramatically escalated his rhetoric against Vladimir Putin, calling for the Russian leader to be removed because of his brutal invasion of Ukraine.|
Sitting on a Military Plane Ready to Fly to the Bay of Pigs
I know of some of the fears you face or have faced as a soldier. I have had my share of scary times while in uniform for my country.
I had put in three years of active duty, and was very near to my discharge date while at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. As a matter of fact the discharge date was just days away.
It seemed like a normal day of “putting in your time,” but then there came a sound that I never want to hear again. It was the intercom in our section of the company I was stationed with saying, “This is an alert.” This is not a drill, all personnel report to headquarters for a briefing right away.”
I couldn’t think of why there would be any problems that serious happening, and still thought it was a drill as I ran towards the headquarters building.
When we all assembled, the commander went to the podium and spoke.
“I am here to inform you that all leaves and weekend passes are concealed. We have received a message from the commanding General of the Army to stand by for a possible mission to the Bay of Pigs. This is a very serious mission, which will put you in combat and in harm’s way. Our unit is being deployed, to help monitor the security of the communications while there. We will serve in the field headquarters of the mission. You have about two hours to go home to pack your full field clothes and equipment. Dismissed!”
That was it. No more explanations or chances to ask questions.
I drove home quickly, packed all my gear in a duffel bag.
I got back to the headquarters, and it looked like pandemonium and chaos had sat in, with soldiers running everywhere.
A few minutes later everyone had made it there and we were all in formation. The commander then told us to come to attention.
We all headed to buses that were waiting to take us to the military airport on base. When we got there, we unloaded and marched to the area of several planes. They had us board the planes with full gear and field uniforms on. The pilot came on to tell us that we will be in a combat area when we land at the Bay of Pigs.
I sat down in my area, and was holding my weapon (M-1 rifle) between my legs. I was numb with fear and anxiety. I had never thought I would actually be in a conflict where I could die.
The plane started its engines. The plane shook as the engines roared to get up to the speed they needed to get off the ground. It taxied to the runway and stopped.
Then we waited for the pilot to push the throttle. We sat there for what seemed like hours. I could see the fear, in the eyes in the soldiers around me. I was only about twenty years old then, and began to see my life unfold before me. I had thoughts of not coming back. I had thoughts of my loved ones I would never see again.
The plane was shaking from the vibrations of the motors. I said a prayer because it looked like we were going to take off. The plane was moving. However, it was not going done the runway. It was heading back to the area where we boarded.
The pilot came on the intercom and said that the mission had been aborted, and we were going back to our companies.
I felt such relief along with men and women around me who were yelling for joy. We were safe and heading back to our homes.
I only shared this story because I know some of you have gone through the same thing. You also have been sent into combat, and faced the fear of not coming back. I was very lucky, but many of you actually left the ground in your plane, and headed into harm’s way.
Fear is something that is hard to control. Even the most-brave face it. We all have been there in some capacity.
It could be the doctor’s appointment that has information on your health. It also could be the times when you have to leave your loved ones for any mission. It may be the crises of your marriage when your spouse is tired of going through the pain of wondering if you will come back alive.
Did you know that Jesus faced fear? He even asked God to take away the fear by relieving Him of the cup of the responsibility God had placed on Him. He sweated blood during that prayer. God heard the prayer, but let Jesus go through the fear, pain and agony of going to the cross and dying for you and me.
I am not making it sound like we shouldn’t be afraid. I know we are quite often. I am not saying you are a bad person if you are afraid of something. We all have our spots where we fear the unknown.
I think that is the key. It is the “unknown.” It’s not knowing what will happen next.
What I have learned from so many times of facing fear is that 99% of what we fear never happens. We just need to give the other 01% over to God.
Is it that simple? I can honestly tell you that it is. God has big shoulders. He wants to take the burdens of our day away from us. We just need to depend on Him to keep His promises and know that He will never put us in a situation that we can’t handle with His help.
Facing the unknown in life can be very hard. We aren’t built to take on such scary things at times. We just need to rely on God to see us through the dark clouds we face. He knows which way we need to go to avoid harm.
Think on this
Isn’t it interesting that having fear is what we really need to fear?
Checking in on you. How are you doing? Did you face some fears while in the military?
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Here is a toll free number that you can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.
You are never alone.
You are never forsaken.
You are never unloved.
And above all…never, ever, give up!