RLDS Association for Ministry to Military Personnel Newsletter

The Peacekeepers
July 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.


Curt’s Column

Newsletter Format

This is the first of our new addition which we are planning on appearing once each month. There are a couple of variables that might cause a skip now and then.  As you are aware, Joyce and I travel to Arizona each winter around the 1st of November and then come back to Missouri around the 1st of April.  If I can get the articles in and put in the proper perspective there should be no lapse. BUT if I can't, then expect a couple of skips.

I have had many comments on the last newsletter and the format that was presented.  I take no credit for that.  Kim Jobe, our secretary, did all that work and I must admit it never looked better.  What with a new baby, she must be very busy.

Visits from Church Members

Another new wrinkle to our service:  If you would like to have a visit from some member of the church, please let me know.  Shirley Cozart will get in contact with someone and see that you are visited.  It may be a local church member, a district officer, a regional officer or even one from the World Church, but Shirley will be on their case until you have a visit.  This may be a good way to get together and have some services.  Let us know what you would like!

List of Officers

In the last newsletter, we gave you the list of officers.  However, it might be well to go over them again.
I'm still president and will be for another two years when my office expires, Kim Jobe is Secretary until her office expires in two years.  Major Tim Kunzweiler was elected Vice-President and will be for four years.  Lehman Heaviland is Treasurer and his office expires in four years as well.  This will provide for a continuity in leadership.

Send Me Articles!

In each newsletter I ask for articles from you in the field.  It doesn't have to be spectacular—just send something you would like to share with the rest of us.  I know for a fact that many of you have a testimony of how Christ has affected your life.  This is exactly the kind of thing we would like to have!  Perhaps you would like to share with us your dreams for the future, too.  Please send me anything that you would like to share with us.  Send your article to me at Army05@aol.com or to the return address on the printed newsletter.

Changes of Address Needed!

Another area that needs your attention.  When you change duty stations, please let me know.  We have to make changes on our mailing list so that you will still be able to receive the Herald and our newsletter.  If you do not want to get either,  please let me know, and we will save a stamp and envelope rather than have it returned because there’s no place to send it.
We are going to have to ask the Herald for help by printing a list of names we are trying to reach and asking if anyone has the up-to-date address.  So please help us by keeping us informed of your current or new address!

Flanders’ Field Then & Now

In Flanders' Fields

By John McCrae in 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

About the Original

This poem by John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Armed Forces, remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915.

For more information on Flander's Field, see http://home.iae.nl/users/robr/poppies.html

(This section added to the online newsletter. -ksj)

To Those Who Lie in Flanders’ Field

By David B. Nelson – Mesa, AZ, Congregation

To you who lie in Flanders' Field
A grateful nation's wounds were healed
But, once again, youth heard the call
And, once again, youth gave its all
In Flanders' Fields.

Along the coast of Normandy
The thousands came to set man free
The despot's hope of glory fell
Amid the smoke and flame of hell
In Flanders' Fields.

The Years have passed, two score and ten
The walls of hate came down, and then
Hand touched hand around the world
And Freedom's flag, at last unfurled
In Flanders' Fields.

"NATO" seeking peace anew
For Flanders, where poppies grew
Will keep the faith, the torch held high
That war may cause no more to die
In Flanders' Fields

Hark, Hark, a call disturbs our dreams
 Old hates, old hurts still reign, it seems The Serbs, the Croats, the Muslims fight
Will humans never get it right
For us—in Flanders' Fields?

Our graves remind you there's a cost
to keep the peace that you have lost
Across the void we challenge you
to do the things you need to do
for peace—for us in Flanders' Fields.

A letter to Abby  caught my attention and if you haven't read it I think it is appropriate. -CH

To the Military Spouses

DEAR ABBY: The letters you have printed from men and women in the Armed Forces reminded me of an experience I would like to share.

My husband is in the service.  One day last fall we made a quick stop on our way to a formal Marine Corps event.  As we walked through the store, many people looked at my husband in his dress blues.  One woman approached him and thanked him for what he does and the sacrifices he makes.  She said that her husband was in the Army for many years and that he now rest in Arlington Cemetery.  Then she thanked me and said she understood what a difficult job I had being his wife.

My husband and I walked away touched by the sincerity in her voice.  I will never forget her, not only because she took the initiative to thank my husband, but because she also recognized large group of people usually overlooked: the spouses.

To all those other military wives (and Husbands) out there: You are appreciated.  All of you who faithfully wait for reunions, who have lost count of the tearful goodbyes, those who sleep in empty beds that suddenly seem so large, who comfort the children because they miss Dad or Mom and those afraid to leave the house because they might miss that weekly phone call from thousands of miles away.

Thanks to all who, like my husband, leave their loved ones for sometimes months at a time and wipe the tears as they go.  Thanks to all of those who share my job of supporting their spouses.

At last, thank you Abby, for shedding light on this subject.  A lot of hard work and heartache go with being involved in the service.  Those men and women deserve our thanks.  (Signed) Proud and Loving Wife in Georgia.

Abby Replies: DEAR PROUD: You have a right to be proud.  My hat is off to the families of our servicemen and women, because the home fires often require a lot of stoking and the task falls upon them.  Your letter reminds me of a quotation first uttered by John Milton:  "They also serve who only stand and wait."

In the latest issue of the Army Times I also found an article by Terry D. Stevens which coincidently also covers the same subject.  It is entitled “When it comes to ‘active duty,' it's military wives who serve.” -CH

For the Military Wives

This column is dedicated to the wives of active-duty and retired military personnel—the most helpful, caring, forgiving and understanding women—the wives of American GI’s.

While there are some male spouses of military women who also put the shoulder to wheel to keep the family running smoothly, that is another story.  Today we salute the military wife.

If you believe that short pay, long temporary duties, low housing standards and high operating tempo have the greatest impact on retention, you are wrong.

The greatest impact comes from the wives of those who serve at the pleasure of their respective service secretary.
It is the wives who determine retention trends, and we would all do well to acknowledge that fact.  They also provide the solid foundation on which military families are built.  Were it not for their support of their husbands' careers, retention in the armed forces would have long since triggered a return of the draft.

Military wives never receive the recognition earned or rewards due for the unwavering support of their husbands.  They serve with as much pride, dedication and commitment as their active-duty husbands.

Compared to their civilian counterparts, military wives carry a much greater responsibility for the family's well being.
Because of military duties, 12-hour days, deployments, and remote assignments, active-duty husbands are notoriously unreliable as far as assisting in the day-to-day family responsibilities.

Wives generally attend to the children's school enrollment, dental and medical appointments, inoculations, school lunches, school counseling, extracurricular activities, summer vacations, teen problems and their own careers—just to keep everything on track.

It is the wife who explains to the children that they must leave their close friends, forgo earned school accolades and depart their homes in the middle of a semester or sports season—after they finally made the first string.

Who explains to the children that they must move to another part of the world without completing their high school years with their friends?  Who explains that even though they feel lousy, the system says they must wait for medical and dental appointments?  Who makes those same children understand that Dad's absence is not by choice, may not be good for the family, but is in the best interest of the United States.  Why, it's Mom, of course.

It is she who sets aside her career in deference to her husband's military duties, and as it is she who plans, organizes and referees the departure from comfortable surroundings to a location filled with unknown challenges and possible danger to the family.

The wife does the major preparation for the permanent change of station.  She determines what must go into hold baggage, what to get rid of at the garage sale, and what they can do without for the next three or four months.  She determines when the household goods pickup will cause the least disruption and give them the best chance of a smooth move.

How many silent (and mostly hidden) tears have fallen when the husband announces that the family must pull up roots and move to a foreign — perhaps unfriendly — part of the world?
Worse sometimes is when he goes on a short-notice, six-month deployment, dropping the complete family burden on his wife.

He seldom sees the anguish in her heart.  She does what must be done to reduce his worries about the family while he is away.

There are countless times, long after taps plays, when the husband comes home and unloads the frustrations and disappointments of the day on his wife.  In most cases, she provides the sympathy and understanding that give him that small bit of hope that tomorrow will be better.  She gives him support and hides her frustrations and need for comforting assurance until another time.

Most wives know that the unexpected departure of a military husband for six months to a year is closely parallel to his death.  Almost all the responsibilities shift to her.  She also can tell you the military system is no longer as responsive to family needs as it is when he is around, and life gets harder just when the need for support becomes greatest.

And it is the neighborhood wives who provide the personal comfort and support so needed by new widows and wives of those recently missing in action.

Even though they richly deserve them, wives receive no medals for their volunteer wok or for being dedicated, devoted and supportive of their military husbands.  But rest assured, ladies, that God loves you.  How could he not?

Terry D. Stevens is a retired Air Force colonel living in San Antonio.

Curt Continues…

Unless you have lived with the military, there is no way that the average person can understand what takes place in the family and the daily activities.  True, the requirements of the military have changed a great deal over the past number of years, but the devotion to duty has not.  There is no civilian occupation that parallels the military requirement.  If a civilian is ordered to an assignment that he or she does not want, they may quit and look for another position.  Try that in the military and see where it goes.  Very few civilian jobs require extended absences from the family, and, when it is required, the monetary rewards usually accompany the absence.
Probably the most vexing thing that comes with prolonged military life, in my opinion, is that the military person is at the beck and call of one person.  If that person gets out of line, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to get the situation straightened out, and, by that time, a number of men or women could have given up their lives.  Truly the military is an occupation that has many pitfalls.  My hat goes off to each one of you and hope that the Lord keeps you from harm's way.

Quips & Quotes

A few gems which arrived via the Internet. (This was page filler for the paper edition of the newsletter.) -ksj

God’s Army

Author Unknown

A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled  him aside.

The Pastor said to him, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"

My friend replied, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."

Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?"

He whispered back, "I'm in the Secret Service."
For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.  (Philippians 4:13)

 The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning...to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years. (1934-1998)
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth...
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars...the house...the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard...
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never lived before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile.
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
by Linda Ellis
Linda's Lyrics 

Closing Remarks

By Curt Heaviland, Assn. President

We're sending this newsletter to everyone snail mail as well as those of you on e-mail.  I'm getting a lot of returned mail from e-mail as well, so if you don't get one e-mail, send me a message so I can get your address straight.

Curt Heaviland

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