The Back Pew - Fall 2022

Submitted: Ernie Isbell, VLOA Chaplin



The Chaplains Corner– Fall 2022

For those who attended the San Antonio reunion, we can all agree that it was very well done. Bert Rice provided excellent planning and follow-up.  Many thanks to Bert for hanging in there during the turmoil brought about by the Covid Pandemic. Every part of this reunion was enjoyable. The silent auction was a huge success and the meals, entertainment, and accommodations were wonderful, thus ensuring that every attendee had the opportunity for a great experience. 

Frank Estes provided a wonderful biblical message and I’m sure all who attended the Sunday church services will agree. As the unit chaplain, it is always terrific to have the assistance and support that Frank brings to the organization. FYI Frank and I were the original section leaders of the Maverick gun platoon and he became Maverick Lead upon the death of Jack Sanford. Later in his career, Frank was a key planner in the process of establishing Army Aviation as its own separate branch. He and I first met at Fort Benning, GA while assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division Aviation Company and then to the 11th Air Assault Division. Wow! Has it really been 60 years?

The VLOA is now undertaking planning for the continuation and future of the organization. My prayers are for the success of this process and I encourage each member to participate so that we can pin down the future of this organization for this wonderful group of valorous soldiers.

Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season. May God bless you and yours and keep you safe.

Ernie Isbell

Chaplain, VLOA 

Fall 2022



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.

Romans 8:18

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



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 01/29/23)