The Back Pew - June 2021
Submitted: Ernie Isbell, VLOA Chaplin
Linda and I hope that this newsletter finds everyone in good health and making plans to gather in San Antonio in September. We will be there and we are bringing our daughter Cheryl, a child of the Viet Nam era, now age 58.
She and her older brother were ages 1 and 2 when the Outlaws and Mavericks and others deployed from Fort Benning in August /September 1964. When I came home the following September, I arrived at the house unannounced (remember, cell phones did not exist back then) to find the kids in bed and my in laws there for a brief visit. Thought they would never leave. I had other things on my mind. My mother- in law finally prevailed in getting my father- in law to leave. He was a retired Navy Commander with a mischievous streak.
After they left I was walking down the hall to our bedroom when Cheryl, now a year older, got up for a bathroom visit and saw me. She grabbed me around the knees and would NOT let go. Finally, she yelled to her brother, got him up, and they joined us in our bed. They finally went to sleep and I carried them to their beds.
How many of you have similar stories? Come to the reunion and let’s all share our memories of those days long ago.
Another subject is regarding Agent Orange. On January 1, 2021, Congress passed the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. Part of this act added bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to the list of ailments that are presumptively associated with exposure to herbicide agents i.e. Agent Orange and others.
If you are suffering from any malady that can be tied into your service in Viet Nam, please file a claim with the Veterans Administration. You are owed this care and compensation but you’ll not receive anything unless you apply and get an Agent Orange assessment. Take care of yourself and get the benefits that you are entitled to receive.
That is all I wish to cover for this edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. May God Bless you and your family.
With warmest regard’s,
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 - February 2021
Pain Is Not Forever
2 Timothy 2:3
Accept your share of suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
About 11 years ago, I began having pain in my shoulders that grew progressively worse as the months past. Along with the shoulder pain, pain began building in my hips and soon matched the level of shoulder pain. Surely this was just the process of aging, and would soon subside and go away. Over the counter medication helped marginally, but wasn’t enough to divert my mental concentration on the pain. Finally, the pain progressed to the point that it limited my ability to function well, especially in getting dressed and caring for myself.
It became clear the pain was not going away by itself. Over the next four months, I was evaluated by two general practioners, a neurologist, and an orthopedic surgeon, none of which could identify the source of the pain even after an MRI, two CT scans, two sonograms, and numerous blood tests, but all had their own solution to mollifying the pain. Finally, my wife said that both of us had had enough of the pain, and found a rheumatologist who gave me an emergency appointment. He reviewed all the medical information, and diagnosed the problem as polymyalgia rheumatica. Prescribed medication relieved the cause of the pain in less than a month, but weaning me off the medication took another 11 months.
One night during the midst of my pain, I realized that my pain was insignificant compared to the pain and suffering Jesus Christ experienced during the 24 hours leading up to dying on the cross. We should never forget the earthly, physical pain Jesus felt in giving his life in atonement for our sins.
Submitted by Frank Estes