Religion Today: A Special Veterans Day Devotional

Guest Writer Spotlight: A Special Veterans Day Devotional – By Richard Lewis

Over the years, I have come to really love and respect my friends who have served in the military and especially those who served in wartime. Those who have served during conflicts often don’t volunteer much information about their time in the military. It is not something they boast about. They often have the attitude that there was a job do to and they did it. Although they mention serving for their country and family, in the heat of the moment, they often were just trying to save their buddy standing next to them.


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When they do share, it becomes evident that even though they survived the experience, they were forever changed. One man shared how he had been a medic in Vietnam in the very early part of the conflict. When he was flying in the back of the helicopter he would have to sit on his helmet while there were bullets coming up through the floor of the chopper as they had no armor plating. After returning home he went to the movies and when he heard an onscreen explosion he found himself huddled down under the theater seat. He felt a hand reaching down and comforting him. It was another vet who had seen him dive under the seat and understood what it was like to be startled by loud noises.

Another Vietnam vet told me how he was part of a B-52 Bomber crew when a surface to air missile exploded right under their plane. The warning systems were beeping faster and faster indicating the closeness of the missile as it almost came up through the open bomb bay doors.

One bike riding pal told me about being a sniper. He told me that he would live in a tree for days at a time waiting for an enemy soldier to come into his “kill zone”. He also told me that he did not understand why so many people had problems coming from home from Vietnam. It didn’t affect him at all or so he said. Of course, his wife confided that he was not the same person who had gone off to war.

As I heard many of these stories, I was so moved with compassion I just wanted to embrace them in a big hug of thanks and comfort. What horrible and difficult experiences they had been through and I’m sure many of you could add to these stories.

Is it any wonder that some of our military vets coming home have problems? We ask them to do difficult to impossible heartrending tasks and then when they get home we seem to cast them aside with inadequate support. It is indeed a tragedy that a substantial part of our homeless population are veterans. I think as a nation and as Christians we need to do a better job for our veterans. That should include better support moving back into civilian life, including employment training, healthcare and spiritual support.

We as Christians need to be praying for and compassionately embracing our veterans and their families while giving them a spiritual support system. By all means, we need to contact our government representatives about these issues but we need to be willing to become involved ourselves with the important spiritual side of this equation. Many vets need to find God’s love and fill the empty or dark spaces in their lives with Him.

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Richard Lewis is a graduate of Arizona State University (Advertising) and California Baptist University (Computer Information Systems). Richard and his wife Sue met while they served as staff members at Campus Crusade for Christ for 8 years in the 1970’s. Richard served in the Campus Ministry at University of Texas at El Paso, Louisiana Tech and at the International Headquarters in San Bernardino, California.

Following their ministry in Campus Crusade Richard was the owner and manager of a bicycle shop in Riverside California for 19 years. After retraining in the computer field at California Baptist University, Richard worked as a Information Systems contractor and employee at Boeing for 17 years. Richard has written over 150 published articles in Information Systems and Computing publications including Windows Magazine and Windows Scripting Solutions.  Richard has served in a leadership role as a Deacon and Elder in several churches as well as being a meditation presenter and Men’s Ministry coordinator.

Richard has written hundreds of meditations and devotionals that have been used in church and small group meetings. Many of these have been published in The Upper Room and Racers For Christ publications and on their web sites. 
In 2021 Richard published a collection of his devotionals. These are available in a Kindle and paperback format on Amazon (ISBN 979-8705738878) “Life Stories to Uplift and Encourage”.

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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.