MG James R. Myles, Commanding General of the US Army Aviation and Missile Command
“If you follow his (Eric's) life and what he cherished, there is a common thread. . .think of others. . .remain active in your church activities. . .play team sports. . .join the Army and be part of something bigger than himself. . .and eventually go back to school and pursue a medical career, continuing to take care of others,” -- Major General James Myles, commander of the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), spoken May 16, 2006 at US Army Developmental Test Command, Headquarters, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
"Pfc. Woods has been an Angel of Mercy for Grim Troop. He served with the brave men of Grim who treated him as one of their own. He served his country in combat with America's best." -- Capt. Jonathan Newsom, Rattler (HHT) Troop commander, 2nd Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army, spoken July 12, 2005 at memorial service, Tal 'Afar, Iraq.
"He made sure that he knew all of the guys in the platoon, and the positions that they held. He took personal care to ensure that their VLSK and ILSK bags were always stocked, and restocked them as needed. He loved the Soldiers of 3rd Platoon and Grim Troop." -- Spc. Steven Riggs, Combat Medic, Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army spoken July 2005 in Tal 'Afar, Iraq.
BY Pastor Paul R. Bawden • July 2005 • MADISON WI
Is Freedom Free?
The recent terrorist bombings in London have caused all of us to realize how vulnerable our freedoms are.
Such an awful tragedy should cause us to realize afresh that we must not take our freedoms for granted, and we must never forget the source of the freedoms we experience on a daily basis.
The great document of the Declaration of Independence reminds us that all of us are created equal and are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights which include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
These words tell us that freedom is not found in ourselves. Rather, our freedom comes from our Creator. He gives us these wonderful realities of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. At the same time, when we don’t make choices that display these realities we find ourselves going down a different path. Life can turn into that which destroys life. Liberty can turn into bondage, and happiness can turn into sadness and hopelessness.
The result is a society that is filled with selfishness, hedonism, licentiousness, even lawlessness. As a person objectively observes what is happening in our country, it becomes crystal clear that is the fast track we are on. But I ask, “Why so?“ Why do we live as if there is no Creator?
Could it be that we have forgotten that freedom isn‘t free? Could it be that we have forgotten that lives were given on the battle field and are being given on the battle field today (such as Eric) for our freedom? Could it be that some who ignore the high cost of freedom are using their freedom in this country to destroy the very freedom that they enjoy? Yes, and could it be that we have forgotten that true freedom is a spiritual issue rather that a physical/material matter?
Jesus Christ jarred the minds of the Pharisees when He told them that everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. Then He added, “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Our high tech minds tend to scoff at such words. In the process, we fail to realize that we are in bondage to our selfishness, our pride, hedonism, licentiousness, lawlessness, yes, our sin. We need true spiritual freedom.
But the cost is monumental. True spiritual freedom is not free. Christ died on the cross for you and me to pay our penalty for breaking God’s law, and then He rose bodily from the grave to provide for us His forgiveness and eternal life. Don’t pass Him by. Come to the Savior, and ask Him for His forgiveness and eternal life. He will make you a new person (II Corinthians 5:17). Then you will experience what it means to have true spiritual freedom - Freedom to do God’s will, which is life at its best (Romans 15:13). If you know the Lord personally, may Christ’s high cost of freedom for you be evident in every area of your life.