My Brothers in Arms

July 9, 2012 — 6 Comments

This past week my men’s group had an emotion-filled time spending our last night together at our friend’s house. We have been meeting at his house, primarily his porch, for the past two and a half years. My friend is getting married, moving and off on a new adventure so we can only be happy for him. There is a little sadness in leaving his porch for it has been a place full of great memories, some of joy, some sad but ultimately it was a place of encouragement. It is a place where you are reminded that you never have to walk alone. Our group is moving to a new house with a new story to be told and I’m excited to see what God will do through it. These past years have been special and I’ll never forget them.

My wife knows I need other men like those in my group and I’m thankful she can see how beneficial it is to have these friendships. In my life experience, every man needs a fighting friend or more to navigate life.

The famed Sergeant Bill Guarnere in the book and HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers said it best,

Once we get into combat, they only people you can trust is yourself and the fella next to you.

I don’t have a natural brother so God has instilled something special in me that helps me grab tightly to those like in my men’s group. Throughout the pages in my life story, I have been blessed to have many great friends whom I call brothers. The life chapters have been wonderful with my friends growing up in Kansas City, my Young Life brothers in Christ in St. Louis, my brothers in college in Evansville and this group now. We are brothers in arms, united always fighting through life, celebrating our successes and failures, joy and pain, adversity and adventures.

My brothers, I thank you for fighting with me. As it says in Hebrews 13:1 (ESV), “Let brotherly love continue.” My feelings for you can only be expressed through the Dire Straits song, Brothers in Arms,

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I’ve witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher

And though we were hurt so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

6 responses to My Brothers in Arms

  1. 

    …as iron sharpens iron…”
    Treasured post once again, David!

    • 

      Terri, I remember when you and Herm gave me Hendricks’ book, “As Iron Sharpens Iron.” It needs a re-read!
      “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”-Proverbs 27:17

  2. 

    Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee have given me a very visual picture and model what it really means to be a brother in arms and to “carry one another’s burdens”. http://youtu.be/O_NmCh42hZM I hope I can be that kind of brother.

    Thanks for bringing your voice and your heart to the group Dave, you are needed!

  3. 

    Hey Dave,

    Great post. Reminds me of when my wife dropped me off in front of our Infantry Company HQ at Ft. Benning the night before we deployed to Iraq. We said our goodbyes earlier that evening, and I had asked her to just leave when she dropped me off just after midnight, because lingering there would have been a miserable, and slow good-bye.

    She pulled away, and I watched her leave, and for just a moment, I was standing there completely in the dark, no one else around, with two duffel bags worth of shit. I remember how terribly alone and scared I suddenly felt. It all kind of hit me at once, I realized that I was REALLY headed off to combat, and it suddenly felt VERY real.

    So I grabbed my bags and walked around the HQ building, towards the arms locker, and as soon as I rounded the back of the building I saw the rest of the company, 120 men, sitting around waiting to retrieve weapons and head to the airfield.

    The feeling of relief was so profound that I can only describe it as a physical relief, not just a mental one. My bags got lighter, and my hands stopped trembling. I wasn’t alone. Yes, I was heading over there, but not alone. WE were heading over there.

    Nothing like it. Brotherhood is an amazing thing. Men that walk through their lives thinking it’s weakness to ask another guy for help, or afraid to share their burdens with a brother in Christ should be pitied, and have achieved nothing but making themselves easy targets for a dug in and determined enemy.

    • 

      Jeremy, I am so thankful for your perspective as you have experienced brotherhood on a whole other level. I think you have an important story to teach others like us back home so thank you for it. I really appreciate your line, “My bags got lighter, and my hands stopped trembling. I wasn’t alone. Yes, I was heading over there, but not alone. WE were heading over there.” Life seems lighter when we are not alone and have brothers to walk with through the good and bad.

      On another note, I thought of you the other day when everyone was complaining about 108 degree heat. A veteran in our office reminded us that he walked around Iraq in 138 degree heat with 75lbs of equipment. Perspective. Appreciate you as a person, as one who has served to protect us, and most importantly as a hoser call a friend, eh.

      Visit in Nashville sometime…we have plenty of room for you.
      Dave

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