The Back Pew - June 2019

Submitted: Ernie Isbell, VLOA Chaplin

In my role as your Chaplain for the VLOA I have been reviewing previous comments published in the newsletter. All have been good and some, especially those made by the Reverend John Doyle, are worthy of being repeated. The following comments were published in the last quarterly newsletter in 2008. Reverend Doyle wrote: The Back Pew

HERO”. Are you as sick as I am with the way the media uses that word? A guy climbs five feet up a tree to rescue a cat, and they write an article in the next days newspaper entitled:Hero Saves Cat”. Or you turn on the “6 Oclock Newsand there are three stories of people that do something that any other person would do without giving it a second thought, and all at once, they are declared to be a hero”. It is sickening.

I think we know something about heroes. We saw it in Vietnam on a regular basis. It was the lone American advisor, who accompanied a company of Republic of Vietnam Army soldiers as they got out of an Outlaw slickin a hot LZ. It was a Dust Off crew that went into a hole in the trees under fire to medivac wounded soldiers. Heroes were the 19 year old WO 1’s, flying a slick into an outpost that was under attack. It was a Maverick crew flying, guns blazing, into enemy automatic weapons fire. O yes! We know what heroes are. We saw them first hand. And let me tell you, what the media calls heroes today, is nothing more than common man doing common things.

In Jesusday, when he was being persecuted, 12 brave, common men followed Him. After his crucifixion, some of those men and others risked their lives to spread His Word. These men were my heros. I honestly doubt I would have been willing to do what they did.

And let us not forget the father and mother that do without so their children can receive the education they need to live in a crazy world. They are the parents that live by Gods Word. Again, these are my heroes.

Want to be a hero? Do something for someone who needs help and tell them you did it to honor God.

God Bless, Chaplain John Doyle

P.S. I agree with what John has written and I would like to add that I consider our crew chiefs, gunners, maintenance and support personnel who kept our aircraft flying, fed and cared for everyone to be heroes. Seldom did they get the proper recognition as much as the pilots did.

Until next time. See you in San Antonio.

Ernie Isbell
VLOA Chaplin.


What can the Chaplain do for me?

My primary job as Chaplain of the V. L. O. A. is to conduct the Sunday morning worship service at our reunions. In addition, should you have the need to talk with someone who has "been there, done that," I am available to listen.




Outlaws Devotional - July 2017


Christian Words                                

Ephesians 4:29.  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.


            When I entered the U.S. Army in 1960, I quickly learned that getting straight to the point was the norm.  Commanders were “old school;” give orders and demand soldiers execute them.  In later years, younger military personnel were a “different breed of cat” and required more explanation before the order.

As a young commander, I wasn’t attuned to the fact that the “explanation” I gave might be perceived as blunt, harsh, or critical.  My orders were more often than not very straight-forward, even though they contained some explanation.  My Father-in-Law made a statement one time when we were hunting on his Florida farm that really hit home with me.  He said: “Words are like a bullet shot from a pistol; once you pull the trigger, you can’t take back the bullet.”  As my names imply, I have always been earnest and frank!  My Father-in-Law’s words stuck with me as I grew older.

Some years ago, I forwarded an email I received criticizing a politician I didn’t support, only to get a return email from an Army buddy.  “Good Christians don’t criticize others” he said in his lengthy response, but then he criticized me for criticizing others.  I did a great deal of thinking about what he said.

Have you experienced someone that criticizes or disparages someone else in the written or spoken word, seriously or jokingly, knowingly or unknowingly?  Just about everywhere we look in today’s society, there is an abundance of hate, offensive statements, Tweets, Facebook posts, TV reports, and newspaper articles that have clearly moved away from being Christ oriented in our words and deeds.  This is the right time for all of us to take a step back and really see how our words and deeds are received by others.  Maybe we should apply Ephesians 4:29 during this period where our country is trying to find who it is and what it stands for again as a world leader.  Just maybe, some things might work better in our personal lives, our church, our community, and our nation.


My Prayer:  May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer.  Amen.

Submitted by Frank Estes



Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American G.I.  One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

      Source Unknown


Standing Prayer Request:

While most Prayer Requests will remain on the page for 30 days, here is a request that will remain as long as we have uniformed men and women stationed abroad. Please repeat this short prayer often and ask you friends and family to include it in their daily prayers:
Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless
acts they perform for us in our time of need.
I ask this in the name of Jesus,
our Lord and Savior.   Amen.

Prayer Requests: (as of 10/18/2019)