According to a CNN article dated February 5, 2009, the U.S. Army announced record suicide rates among its soldiers in 2008. Sadly, it appears the trend has continued in 2009 as well. I recently corresponded with Ron Leonard, a retired Army chaplain, and he shared information that has caused me great alarm and also touched my heart. Over the last three months there have been 19 suicides at Fort Campbell. That’s 19 suicides at just one base alone. One doesn’t have to be a quantum physicist to see and understand how much our men and women serving in the Armed Forces are hurting. With the load each soldier carries on his or her shoulders, I know of only one source who can provide true support, true life-preserving relief, true understanding, and infinite love—and that’s the Savior Himself.
Thankfully, I haven’t reached a point in my life where I seriously, with everything inside of me, wanted to check out and call it quits. But I’ve struggled enough to know utter fear and desperation. It’s in those times when you simply lift your voice and ask for help that you feel, in your own skin, how real Jesus actually is. In the heat of the battle for your life, your sanity, your marriage etc. that’s when Jesus goes from being some mythical God that maybe you aren’t even sure exists, to a real hero who rescues you right when you’ve come to the end of yourself or your situation. It’s this kind of help that I pray our soldiers will freely receive.
Once I wrapped my mind and my heart around the hopelessness that many of our soldiers face every day, I immediately asked myself, “What can I do?” Here are a few resources that may provide insight to help you answer that question for yourself: Christian Military Fellowship, Blackaby Ministries International, and IFCA International. Also, you might want to consider donating inspirational books and music. If donating is something you’re interested in learning about, please contact me for more information.
I’ll leave you with this video that I hope will linger in your heart for awhile.