The Back Pew - Winter  2022 / 2023

Submitted: Ernie Isbell, VLOA Chaplin



Happy New Year!!!!

This part of Texas (Dallas area) underwent very cold and icy weather the week before Christmas. It seems that a great deal of the Nation experienced nasty weath- er as well. Heavy snow storms trapped many people in the Northeast in their homes without electricity and multiple deaths resulted. Since most of the Outlaws are in our senior years my prayers are for everyone to plan for severe weather and take pre- cautions as necessary. Better safe than sorry.

Christmas is a time for families to make memories and enjoy the season. The good part about grandchildren is that they grow up and make memories of their own

and you get the pleasure of watching it all happen. Linda and I have three grandchil- dren. One is a male age 35, who has never married. We have a set of 18-year-old twin granddaughters, both of whom are enrolled in college in the Oklahoma City

area. I’ll brag just a bit about these two very intelligent young ladies as both are pursuing degrees that will serve them very well.

I encourage everyone to continue to take precautions regarding exposure to Covid. Seem that the virus continues to mutate and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated and take the booster shots as they are available.

Plans are underway to determine where our next reunion will be located. Each of

you should have received emails asking for your input regarding the location. Please let the leadership know your views and plan on attending. Linda and I will be there– God Willing.

May the Lord Bless you and your family. Ernie Isbell


Vinh Long Outlaws





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 05/30/23)

Tom Anderson Passed away on April 7, 2023

Thomas E. Anderson COL, USA (Ret.)

Of Springfield, Virginia, passed April 7, 2023 at the age of 92. He is the beloved husband of the late Patricia Ann Anderson; loving father of Gregory T. Anderson (Doreen) and Mark G. Anderson (Caretta); cherished grandfather of Katherine, Michael, and Riley Anderson. After attaining the rank of Eagle Scout he was one of two young men selected to represent his home state of Montana at the American Legion National Boys Nation in Washington, DC where he met and shook hands with President Harry S. Truman in the White House Rose Garden. He was a proud soldier who served 24 years in the military. Relatives and friends may call at Jefferson Funeral Chapel, 5755 Castlewellan Dr., Alexandria, VA on Monday, April 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. A funeral service at the Old Post Chapel at Fort. Myer followed by interment at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors will be held on a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tom's name may be made to 
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


comment from Jim Donnelly


It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you the VLOA’s founder and permanent advisor passed away yesterday. Tom was surrounded by his family yesterday in the hospital where on April 7, 2023, he left this earth. I was proud to call him a friend and was so glad that Vickie and I had a chance to visit with him and Ann last week. I consider him my Outlaw father and told him so many times. I miss you already my friend.

Prayers for the family and for Ann his loving companion and caregiver. She was truly a blessing in Toms last years. Thank you, Ann!

Tom now joins his many friends and comrades of the VLOA Honor Roll, never to be forgotten.