Today, I was watching an old episode of "Tour of Duty" that really brought back some memories to me.
In this episode, one of the stars was about to ETS out of the Army and was preparing to go home to the United States.
In the end, he would re-enlist and thereby rejoin his unit.
I couldn't help but think back to my guys, most of them re-enlisted while still in Iraq.
I lost only a hand full of Soldiers due to leaving the Army.
I did much to encourage them to stay in the Army and to continue to perform at a high professional rate.
I am proud of the accomplishments that our Platoon accomplished as we were held highly by the Division, Brigade, down to the Battalion.
It was great to go back into time and relive those days and think about my troops. Many of them have advanced in the Army doing great things.
Combat can be very stressful as everyday can be your last. It is hazardous even to those who stay on the JSS (Joint Security Station).
When the enemy wants to download mortars inside your sector that can be very alarming. We saved a lot of lives, the wounded, as well as through preventive medicine. This helped kept the fighting force in the field of operation.
The Battle Focus was always front and center, for every Soldier we were able to save through our direct action, there was a family waiting for them back home.
As Catholics, we are also on a "Tour of duty" as we are on point. There are many walking wounded among us. There are many suffering from Battle Fatigue. What do you do when you know someone is wanting to "tap" out, to give up?
It is important to be able to diagnose this early, to see and understand combat stress, to know when someone is "shell shocked". The first spiritual condition is knowing if their was a Father and Mother both strong in the practice of their faith. If they have been on the ready with their children, preparing them for the spiritual battles that lay ahead, that is most important.
It is also important that young people be given the firm foundation that prepares them for the battle of life. Talk about a "Tour of duty", that is tough, peer pressure is very difficult for parents to combat, especially when both parents work.
It is important to offer good training, have good friends, good family activities. It is also important to be faithful in going to Mass. To pray together as a family unit. That is the best weapon to fight trench warfare in protecting the family from the influences of sin.
Trench warfare might seem rather radical but it is a good expression of what is happening in the "real" world. Demons are at work attempting to penetrate a families defenses. They will continuously and tirelessly take the fight to you. You can never really let your guard down. The moment you do evil is hitting you like a chicken on a June bug.
The stats show that Children hold on to the Faith when both parents are living and standing up for the faith. Consider what the Lord told St. Faustina concerning the Divine Mercy Devotion:
"Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children,and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.
Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen."
How tragic it is when a child is not given any kind of foundation? To never give children the foundation of faith? Many are given a poor image of God the Father because their earthly Fathers did not or were not there to teach them about the truth of God.
This is the major battle ground today as the family has been under attack for a long time. The family unit has been taken for granted by a hostile force trying to eradicate Christianity.
This is a most important "Tour of duty" because we are seeing casualties of war everywhere. Addictions of all kind are at epidemic numbers.
Pornography and Abortion are multi-billion dollar industries, gay marriage is picking up steam as the liberal Government seek to change America. The legalization of drugs, all these things are having a far reaching impact on society.
This upcoming semester at Texas A&M, I am taking a class "Sociology of Sexuality" and I look forward to defending the Catholic position on human sexuality.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are the most common illness next to the common cold and flu. That is incredible. Something like 33,000 people a day are being diagnosed with an STD.
This is spiritual warfare to the max, we are in a fight for the future of America, will we fall from within because we did nothing to stop the rising tide of evil?
To be a true Catholic today, you have to be ready to embrace this "Tour of duty" because we must be equal to the task given. The Saints expressed their hopes to see and witness these times we are in.
This is our time, our opportunity to serve God. It is time to accept this cross today to save a generation and lead many to salvation. This includes family, lets not wait until they are teenagers to think about it, we need to get back to the basics! Defend Life!