RLDS Association for Ministry to Military Personnel Newsletter

The Peacekeepers
May 2000 Issue

The RLDS Peacekeepers newsletter is available in an e-mail and a "snail-mail"  edition. 

Active-duty military members who join the Association can receive either edition for free.  Non-active-duty members receive either edition with a paid membership.

Joyce and Curt Heaviland staffing the Association booth in the Auditorium during World Conference 2000.

Dr. Paul M. Edwards speaking to the Association

Some Views of Conference

By Curt Heaviland, Association President
Our President and Prophet opened the communion service we attended with a welcome to the congregation and a reading of scripture.  The Spirit that revailed with singing by the Graceland choir and the assembled congregation cannot be expressed in mere words.  One must be present to really experience the situation.
At the opening communion service, Jesus' life was depicted at various stages. He was shown washing the feet of those who followed Him.  The Spirit of His presence was in abundance.  He then served His followers the sacrament.  A very moving experience for each one present.
Everett Graffeo gave an inspiring talk for the communion remarks.  He related experiences to us that most of us will never understand.  We of the western world do not understand the customs of those that are not of our culture.  The thrust of his remarks to me was the experience of humbleness.  We must learn that customs not of our own sometimes have a much deeper meaning than some of the superficial customs that we as Westerners use.
Remember that each of us as we journey to different parts of the world including different parts of our own United States, we are guests.  As we leave our confines of base, post or ship, we must be aware that we are representatives of our government, home community, and church.  Each one of us is a witness to this fact of life.  The challenge to us, then, is what kind of witness are we?  As peacekeepers, a great deal of good can come from our service.
Our association's booth provided for us in the lower auditorium below the conference chamber a great opportunity to meet and talk with many delegates and visitors.  Although we were not in the center of things, we were able to attract many.  Several of those who came by expressed that our publication, "The Peacekeepers," was one that they really enjoyed and read from cover to cover.  Plans are in the process to make it a monthly event, rather than bi-monthly.  This means we are going to have a growing appetite for articles and experiences.  So crank up your pens and keep us supplied!
Dr. Paul Edwards spoke at the Association’s meeting about the Korean War Museum that he heads in Independence.  His talk was extremely interesting.  He has provided a synopsis of his remarks, and it appears later in the newsletter.
The results of the election of officers retained Lehman Heaviland as treasurer and elected Major Tim Kunzweiler as vice-president.  We want to thank Sgt Vernon Rasmussen for his service as vice-president for the past two years.  Vernon is currently in Bosnia.  David Sellers from his district brought greetings from Vernon.  Vernon tried to get leave to attend World Conference but was turned down by the Army because of the current situation there.  Sometimes the Army can be downright unreasonable!  Didn't they recognize what the real situation is in the world and where Vernon should be?
We are getting an increasing number of our newsletters returned.  PLEASE, when you are transferred just drop us a postcard letting us know your new address.  We want to keep in touch with you.  Each one of you is important to us and to the church.

Sacred Duty

By Harold Dillion - Independence, Missouri
In 1945 we were "mopping up" in the Philippine Islands.  Snipers and unorganized pockets of resistance were rather easily controlled.  Nevertheless, several weeks of constant struggle brought the feeling of endless meaningless days.
We secured a large thatched-roofed, wall-less barracks.  No more sleeping on the ground in the rain!  A visiting Chaplain announced church services the next day and further reminded us that it would be a Sunday.
The squad agreed we owed a humble thanks to the Lord and we should all attend.  I agreed to be the official "waker-upper".  Sunday morning I arose early shaved and showered.  Then personally awoke every man there.  Some grumbled about it being too early.  Finally only one man was ready at the appointed time.  As we left, I reminded all with a loud voice that they were welching on a sacred oath.
Jim and I had walked about 100 feet when a large whirlwind destroyed the whole thatched roof and scared the sleepers!  I announced the Lord was showing his displeasure.   Proverbs 10:25 speaks about the same thing.  Later the Lord saved my life from a land mine.  I thank him over and over.

Denzil West from the East 39th Street congregation submitted a couple of articles that had been published.  The first by him in the Reader's Digest in the September 1975 issue and the second by his brother, Warren West in an issue up of Reminisce. -CH

Smart Doctor!

By Denzil West

Early in World War II, a certain doctor had mystified us all at our physicals by telling each recruit which section of the country he was from after listening to him say just a few words. We were utterly amazed when the doctor announced to one man, "You come from Louisiana," when all of us could plainly see a tattoo which proudly stated TEXAS.  "I sure thought I had you doctor," the young man said.  "You see, I lived in Texas until a year ago, when we moved to Louisiana.  You are right, because I'm from Louisiana now."  Next in line, I tried to disguise my voice to sound like someone from the east, but the doctor said, "Well, son, I'd say you were from Missouri—from Independence, Missouri."  I just stood there with my mouth open, for that was my hometown.  After we had all been examined, I went back to the room where the uncanny doctor was packing his bag before leaving.
"Don't know how you did it, doctor I said.  "I was sure I had changed my accent enough to fool you."
"Oh, I don't pay any attention to the way the men talk," the doctor laughed.  "While I'm listening to each man's chest, I just read his hometown from the dog tags hanging around his neck.”

The Foxhole

By Warren West, Independence
I was training with the 35th Infantry Division in Alabama in the summer of 1943.  We were in the field practicing the art of foxhole camouflage.
There's a lot of sand and pine trees I Alabama, so after I dug my hole and tapered the ground around it to blend in, I covered it with pine boughs.
Pretty soon the battalion Plans and Training Officer came around to inspect our work.  When he neared mine, the officer started to walk toward me, asking "Where's your foxhole, Corp..."
Before he could finish "Corporal", he fell through the pine boughs and into the hole.  I thought my lungs would burst as I tried to maintain a straight face.  The officer with great aplomb, climbed out, looked me in the eye and said, "That's pretty good Corporal."  Of course, when he was out of earshot we broke into laughter.  It mad the entire morning worthwhile.

Dr. Paul Edwards on War & Peace:
Comment to the Ministry to the Armed Forces

By Dr. Paul M. Edwards, Independence, Missouri, April 2000
For the last twelve years I have been engaged in a project designed to set up and maintain an archives and library dealing with the Korean War.  The project emerges out of a concern for peace, and the realization that is we are to establish peace, concerned persons must understand something about the nature of war.  The Center for the Study of the Korean war, like the lives of those who serve in the Armed Forces, is based on the belief that only those who are willing to commit themselves are going to continue to the cause of peace.
Contrary to some who view the Center as encouraging conflict, I am not in  favor of war.  Nor do I have the slightest interest in encouraging the  romanticism so often perpetuated by those who, unaware of the costs of such  national behavior, see war as some nationalistic value.  I applaud every  effort designed to bring peace into the lives of human beings all over the  world.  But I am also aware there are few persons whose commitment to peace  is greater than those of you on whom we place the responsibility of  preventing those conflicts that so often arise from lack of care.

With your indulgence, I would like to comment about the reported massacre  which occurred near the bridge of No Gun Re in 1950 in South Korea.  The  claim is that a hundred or more civilians who sought refuge from the ravages  of war were killed by the American troops.  Even more recently, a Los Angeles  paper suggests that South Korean soldiers may have killed North Korean  prisoners of war.

No one — most certainly not I — would sanction such actions.  And I am  not here to take sides in this claim.  Rather, I would like to comment on the naïveté from which such comments emerge.

Why are we surprised?  What, in the name of God, do we think war is?  The  fact that this has come as such a surprise to Americans, and to our people in  the church, should serve as a wake-up call for those who seek to be a people  of peace.  The very assumption that there is a difference between shooting  one person and shooting another is a part of the ignorance about war which  perpetuates it.

How can we claim to have any interest in peace when we are (or appear) so  ignorant about what we are talking about?  What does it tell us about  ourselves, and about our participation in the realities of the world in which  we are living, that we do not realize what we do?  How can we talk  intelligently about how to prevent armed conflict when we do not even  understand what happens in the midst of a war between frightened people?   That is what war is: it is people getting killed; civilians are shot, and  women and children are killed, and men and women are sent to situations where  fear and irrational necessity to destroy the opposition drives them to  inhumane behavior.

The answer to such behavior is peace.  Obviously!  But the unwillingness to engage in war will not emerge from legislation or proclaiming.  Nor can we combat the sources and outcomes of national and personal policy if we do not recognize that war is the determination of an enemy.  War is the end of distinction between the innocent and the source of innocence.

Peace will come with security and security with justice, and it is only when we fear the cost of war more than the loss of our own way that war will stop. But can we be so unrealistic, so unconnected to human behavior, so distant from the awesome fears of our century, that we would choose to close the link between those who are prepared for war on the grounds that they are the cause of war?

Until we find a way to settle disputes between ourselves, to be willing to live with less, to admit failures, both personal and national, the best hope we have is that men and women of good faith and personal commitment are willing to serve in the role of which, in its existence, prevents the worst kinds of irrational behavior.

Thank you for the service many of you offer and have offered.  Thank you for the way you have witnessed to the Spirit of God as you have fulfilled your duty as determined by the people of this nation.  Bless you even when we forget to respect you and your common effort for peace.

Closing Remarks

By Curt Heaviland, Assn. President
I regret that this newsletter is as late as it is.  My wife, Joyce, and I had to make a trip back to Arizona right after Conference to have some tests run.  I had an angiogram administered, and the results were not exactly what we wanted to hear.  It seems as though I have some blockages in my arteries, so when I go back to Arizona this next fall, I will be in for some surgery to take care of the problems.  Since the doctor believed that it could safely be put off until this fall, I opted for that opportunity.  If I would have had to have it this spring, you all would have had to carry me around in a basket.  There are many things that have to be taken care of here at home this summer that could not wait for me to play around!  So thus we are late getting back.
My wife, Joyce, had her esophagus looked at, as she has been in a great deal of pain lately.  That resulted in the doctor giving her some new medicine, as it seems the lower part of the esophagus is highly inflamed.  So far the medicine has not done its job, so she will have to get back with the doctor to see what can be done.  Between the two us, we had to take two weeks out of a schedule that we could have used elsewhere!
I want to take the opportunity to thank all of you who are members of Association, whether you are active duty or supporting members.  It has been very rewarding to me to have had the opportunity to talk to many of you.  I have found overwhelming support for what we are trying to do!  If I make a mistake I hope it is on the side of good rather than bad.
You who are out on the fringes can be our best sales people.  Talk to those in your congregation about what we are trying to do and get them to join the Association.  In most of the instances, I have found that after the explanation, a simple “Would you like to support what we are doing?” results in a new member.  Also, please continue to check with the congregation about any relatives currently in the military or those about to enter service.  We need their names and addresses to see that they are included in our efforts.
It is our hope that we can bring the church close to those that are not close to the church for what ever reason.  That the Spirit of God can work through our contacts.  Shriley Cozart, who lives in Florida, will work toward having members contacted by church officials or members.  If you are away from a congregation and would like to see or hear from members of the church, please let me know, and I'll have Shirley work on getting someone to see you.
We are a family with common bonds.  No other form of contact other than the church can bring you closer than military service.  Let us continue to be brothers and sisters in Christ as well as brothers and sisters of those who are and have served in the military.

Curt Heaviland

We have T-shirts with the dove logo on the front in all sizes.  They are $19.00 plus $3 shipping and handling for a total of $22.00 each.  Also the “Peacekeeper” pin is available for $3.00 plus a $.33 cent stamp.  This is one of our fund-raising activities.  The pin does an excellent job as a tie tack.

To order either, send either Lehman or me a check for the item you want, made out to the “RLDS Assn. for Ministry to Military Personnel” and it will be mailed within seven days.


Lehman Heaviland
309 Shrank 
Independence, MO 64056 
Curt Heaviland
1228 Scott 
Independence, MO 64052 

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Additions? Corrections? Questions? 
Contact the Community of Christ  Ministry to Military Personnel at CofChristPeacekeepers@yahoo.com