Farewell & Welcome
John Doyle has been the VLOA Chaplain for more than 15 years now, and notified the VLOA leadership of his need to step aside and make room for someone else to fill this position. We owe John a great deal of thanks for jumping in to help form the VLOA by first searching for former Outlaws, Mavericks, Roadrunners, and affiliated unit members. Then, he was instrumental in getting the organization off the ground and volunteered to be the Chaplain and bring his more than 20 years as a Baptist minister to the VLOA. Now that he is stepping aside, Paul L. Martin (the Arkansas Paul) has agreed to be our VLOA Chaplain. Welcome aboard, Paul. We are grateful for your taking on this very important VLOA role. We look forward to seeing you at our biennial reunions and to your "Back Pew" devotionals in each of our quarterly Outlaw Newsletters.
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.
I have been asked to initiate prayer requests using email from time to time. I thought it might be more effective to post prayer requests here on our web site. So if you know of a family or one of our own in need of our spiritual support, send a simple email request describing the need and the person or family in need, to me at the address below.
If you want to talk, call: 870-352-2446
Send Prayer Requests and other communications to: email@example.com
Rev. Paul L. Martin
Outlaws Devotional - Memorial Day 2017
Memorial Day is coming in a week or so. Too often, Americans just look at this day as part of another three-day weekend at the lake or beach or to vacation with family. Think with me for a few moments about the 21st Century Society we live in and our purpose in conducting Memorial Day Ceremonies across the United States.
I recently had the pleasure of leading my church’s long range planning activities. In preparing for that effort, our 17 committee members did quite a bit of research into the impacts our 21st Century Society is having on our country, its Constitution and institutions, its churches, and more fundamentally, on its citizens’ knowledge and beliefs about what our country stands for today. Our study found that too often, Americans are no longer informed about our Constitution, history, international relations, fundamental freedoms, or the purposes behind so many national holidays. Many seem to care less about the fact that Memorial Day was established to honor those who gave their all, in ALL past and present conflicts, to protect the many freedoms we Americans have.
While we honor those who have gone before us on foreign soils and here at home, we owe it to them to be vigilant and active on what has transpired in a silent internal and external war threatening our country’s very existence both at home and internationally. I believe you know what I am referring to, given the vitriolic, self-centered, biased, partisan politics, and media we see on a daily basis. Seldom do we see anything coming from these sources about American patriotism or the loss of great patriots, our young men and women who served or continue serving our great country in an admirable and honorable way.
On foreign soils alone, we lost 116,516 in WWI; 405,399 in WWII; 36,574 in Korean War; 58,209 in Vietnam; 4,488 in Iraq; and 2,229 in Afghanistan. We can’t know them all, but we owe them all. They paid the ultimate price for all the freedoms we have today. Don Nielsen’s poem TO THEM WE OWE provides a glimpse of why we should all be at our local cemeteries this coming Memorial Day, honoring those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. This poem reads as follows:
Happened today, and in the past;
Sacrifice made, for ours to last.
Wives to widows, families torn,
Gave their lives, for them we mourn.
Gone forever, souls are lost;
Freedom comes, with this cost.
Enjoy the life, they did preserve;
Fate they suffered, did not deserve.
On this day, lest we forget;
To them we owe our life in debt.
Please envision with me for a few moments that you are walking in Washington D.C., at the grounds of the WWII Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery with 624 acres of row upon row of over 400,000 white headstones - - - you can’t help but see and feel the palpable, sheer magnitude of our service men’s and women’s sacrifices. That is why we honor them and their families; for giving everything to protect our freedoms. That is why we conduct Memorial Day ceremonies. May God bless the families of those we lost in all our wars, and may He bless the United States of America.
Submitted by: Frank Estes