RLDS Association for Ministry to Military Personnel
The Peacekeepers May 2000 Issue
The RLDS Peacekeepersnewsletter 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.
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
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.
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.”
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.