In The Dawns Early Light

A Tribute to Our Veterans
Dr. Lewis Gregory


One Veterans Day morning as I watched the sunrise, I paused to reflect on the significance of Veterans Day. My thoughts turned to more sobering times: the service of our military veterans, including my own service in the United States Navy.

It was cold and windy outside on our porch. The weather reminded me of standing watch on the dock while guarding my ship on many cold and lonely nights. (Keep in mind that there are soldiers around the world who are doing that and much more at this very moment on behalf of our nation.)  Night before last, while helping my granddaughter walk their dog, I was also reminded of our soldiers because I was wearing the same Navy gloves that kept me warm over 50 years ago.

And upon further reflection, I was reminded of the times when I would sit on the bow of our ship off the coast of Vietnam listening to the explosions in the distance. I would pray to my Lord God who seemed so far away. (Even today other soldiers are pondering such thoughts about God as they stand watch in some distant land.) Thankfully, my prayers were not in vain and the Good Lord did come to my rescue on many occasions and made His presence known to me.

For example, once when I was working in the powder magazine of our ship off the coast of North Vietnam, the explosions became very intense and the ringing in my ears was deafening. Then we heard the shrapnel hitting the sides of our ship. We were told that the ship next to us had taken a direct hit. Immediately my buddy to my right began to shake in fear and the one on my left began to cry. (I’ve heard many cries over the years while counseling with veterans who have suffered the traumas of war. Yes, grown men do cry. We may not always show it, but we feel it and we hurt too!)

But on that day as my friends were crying and cringing in fear, I sensed a deep inner peace that calmed my soul. I was acutely aware of the Lord’s presence and the sweet assurance that if I were about to die, I would be with the Lord in Heaven because I had received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Thankfully, the Lord preserved my life and now I am able to share the Good News with many people worldwide!

Veterans Day is a good time to reflect upon our first Veterans and what enabled them to endure the hardships to establish this great nation. At the beginning of the revolutionary war, Commanding General George Washington said, “Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions—The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us.” 1 Several years later in 1779, as the war intensified General Washington stated, “Brothers, I am a Warrior.” 2

Thank God that He gave us leaders who from the very beginning of this great nation understood from where the source of strength comes. As King David, one of the greatest warrior kings of all declared, “my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth.” (Psalm 121:2 MSG)

General Washington praying at Valley Forge December 1777

But what’s that ringing in my ears? The ringing which began while I was off the coast of Vietnam, was the result of the loud explosions of the big guns on our ship constantly being fired at the enemy. That ringing remains to this very day. Perhaps I can consider it my liberty bell, ringing out the sounds of freedom. The ringing is my reminder as a DAV (Disabled Veteran) that while war is hell (although not in the biblical sense), we remain a free nation under God because of the sacrifices of our great military! And many of us who are veterans have the scars to prove it!

Veterans Day for those who’ve never served may be just another day. But for those of us who have served, it’s a small, but significant tribute to our fellow soldiers who have paid a terrible price to preserve the freedom and prosperity of this great country. May we never forget! And may God bless the USA!!!  11/12/18


1.    General Orders, July 2, 1776, Founders Online, National Archives (Bold emphasis mine)
2.    Address to the Delaware Nation, May 12, 1779, Founders Online, National Archives

Dr. Lewis Gregory Source Ministries © 2018

, , , , ,

Comments are closed.