“I will always place the mission first. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.”~ Army Ethos/Soldiers Creed
Who does the last soldier standing in the fox-hole talk to when everyone else is dead or gone? What keeps soldiers confident and courageous when the enemy attacks? And, for whom do they truly fight and die? A constant thread is weaved throughout the founding fabric of the American Military. It begins with the Minutemen of 1776 and continues today. It is Red, White and Blue Spirituality. One of the 100 most influential people on the matters of defense, retired four-star General Gordon R. Sullivan, and author of Hope is not a Method, shares thoughts on this subject with us and says, “No man left behind has biblical overtones. Sacrificing yourself for your country is a spirituality in itself.”
We’ve all heard of Military blood and guts, but what about love, and angels? Is the concept of spirituality and army an oxymoron, or a God-given-gift of a different kind wrapped in honor and love? The answer may lie in how Guardian angels and soldiers seem to have a secret Morse code of numbers celebrated by privates and four-star generals every Veteran’s Day, November 11th; 11/11.
In this extremely rare video interview, General Sullivan, a tireless advocate for soldiers and their families, former Chief of Staff of the Army (the highest ranking army officer) from 1991-1995, and recipient of numerous awards and medals including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and recently the George Cattlett Marshall Medal shares insights and memories of heroic war stories and Native American Ceremonies on the battlefield concerning the seldom discussed topic of Spirituality in the Military.
1111 are special numbers in mathematics, spirituality, numerology, and the Armed Forces.
The ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was first to establish that numbers hold vibrational properties and taught his students, known as Pythagoreans, how the entire universe is mathematically precise. The number 1111 is a sign of perfection.
According to New Age and Angel Experts like Doreen Virtue 1111 is the twin-flame angel-number used by angels to speak to us. Numerologists consider 1111 to be the master number of synchronicities.
Is it by coincidence that 1111 is also the date that signifies Veteran’s Day, originally called “Armistice Day,” which commemorates the signing of the armistice with Germany that ended World War I?
Veteran’s Day celebrates the life and death of every soldier which reflects the Army Ethos known as the Soldiers Creed, a promise to every warrior that they will not be left behind, dead or alive.
The heroic war stories shared by Gen. Gordon, including one exemplifying the soldiers creed between Civil War Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant, are riveting, but a particularly moving one is about a 90-year-old Penobscot American Indian from the 1st infantry division who returned to foreign beaches to perform a ceremonial ritual over buddies who died in 1944. Using stones, tobacco, smoke, and an eagle feather he releases and blesses their spirits. “I just had to do this for them before I died,” he tells General Gordon.
Military Spirituality is alive and well as told in morerecent war stories.
While under attack, Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti of the 10th Mountain Division was determined not to leave a soldier behind. Sgt. Monti was mortally wounded crossing an open terrain through intense enemy fire during the third rescue attempt. He sacrificed his life to save his fellow soldiers.
Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis of C Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, was conducting combat control operations with his platoon. While manning the M2 .50-caliber Machine Gun, a grenade landed in the vehicle. Private McGinnis yelled, “Grenade!” alerting the four crew members. Then, rather than leaping to safety, he pinned the live grenade between his body and the vehicle, absorbing most of the explosion. Private McGinnis sacrificed his life to save his crew.
Specialist Ty M. Carter received a citation for gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a scout with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. On the morning of October 3, 2009, at Combat Outpost Keating, in Kamdesh District, Afghanistan, he woke under attack on all sides by the enemy. Carter ran through a gauntlet of fire to reinforce a battle position and remained there isolated. With complete disregard for his own safety and wounds, he again ran through a hail of enemy rocket propelled grenades and machine gun fire to rescue a critically wounded comrade. SPC. Carter gave the fallen soldier first aid, carried him to cover, and returned still dripping blood, through the barrage of bullets to recover the squad’s radio deemed critical for the outpost defense and coordination and evacuation of injured soldiers. Specialist Ty M. Carter’s actions prevented enemy capture of the outpost and saved the lives of his fellow soldiers.
At this point, you may be asking, “Why! What were they thinking?”
Perhaps they weren’t. Might they be reacting to the needs of the people for whom they were truly fighting, the soldier beside them? They responded as a parent would to a fallen child lying in the street because the military is a family filled with love, devotion, and spirituality.
This may be a family love of a different kind but it is wrapped in a “spirituality worth dying for.”
“You don’t join the military for the money. God, No!” General Gordon says. “My pay check was about $200.oo a month when I joined. It’s a higher calling, even if they don’t realize it when they first sign up.” This is never truer than in our armed forces today. There is no draft. Service is a choice.
Another higher calling has gone to the dogs; real CHAMPS in every way.
General Gordon is the Chairman and Founder of the Marshall Legacy Institute, (MLT) a nonprofit to extend the vision of Nobel Peace Laureate George C. Marshall. Its arms embrace the Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS) which promotes global citizenship, and involves the American youth and Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP) in meaningful learning projects to help mine-injured children in war-torn countries. It is designed to teach schoolchildren about the human consequences of landmines and how people and dogs are working together to make a better and safer world. Students safely explore the global landmine problem, and become part of the solution; a cause close to the heart of the late Princess Diana of England.
At a recent birthday party for Gen. Gordon, Airforce Brigadier General (ret.) Tony Schiavi defined leadership and Spirituality in the Military as, “ So the general consensus (no pun intended) is Spirituality in the Military is alive and well.
Veteran’s Day; 11/11. The angels have spoken. Are you listening?
CLICK to WATCH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46QmJXbpt5w
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