Apparently Miley Cyrus’ house can be seen on top one of the mountains. but that’s not the reason my Soldier is at Mount Yonah. Far from it but I know Nate chuckled upon hearing this celebrity factoid in the middle of Ranger School.
Fortunately our oldest olive shoot is a frequent writer. I think he writes as much for himself as for us since he wants to chronicle this epic event. One day he’s going to look upon this moment with a sense of wonder. These letters are proof that yes, he did it!
I have especially marveled at his recent letters. The physicality of the task and the way the Lord is speaking to him, I am truly in awe.
Here are some excerpts that you might enjoy.
“Mount Yonah, brutal ruck up, it’s a timed pass-fail event with 70 pounds on our back during the ruck. It started off pretty well but towards the end it went basically straight up the mountain.
By the time I got to the top, I was spent physically and mentally.
Some of those grueling ruck marches can really get to your head. Rather than think about the pain, I just think to myself, “Don’t settle.”
Later in the day we practiced using ropes to haul things like our ruck sacks or a casualty up and down the mountain. The litter we used for the “casualty” ended up weighing about 200 pounds and we just grabbed ropes and put on our 70 pound rucks and dragged them up the mountain. It was miserable. After that we started using pulley systems to drag our stuff and that worked better. The mountain was so steep and slippery I ate it a bunch of times.
We’ll be on some decent sized hills but we’re not hiking straight up mountains on our missions.
…speaking of food. I’m starving. The have been feeding us three meals a day but I am still starving by the time chow comes around, I start a chow chant. We say, “Chow, chow, chow, chow, chow, chow everybody!” just like that Lil Jon song “Shots.” You gotta have fun somehow so we just cut up and act immature during our down time at least. We put our game face on come mission time.”
15 may 2013
Yesterday the chaplain came and gave an amazing sermon.
He read from Philippians 3:3-15 and talked about running the race for Christ. He told this story about a 10 mile race his ex-Gf asked him to run with her in high school.
It was at 6,000 feet in Colorado and he trained for months in advance so he could impress her.
When the time came for the race he ditched his girl- friend to hang out with his buddies for the week- end.
He said he doesn’t even re- member what he did that weekend but he did re- member getting a letter in the mail that said “Congrats on finishing the race. Here’s a picture of your photo finish” and it had a picture of someone else crossing the finish line with his bib number on.
He said from that day he committed to never letting anyone else finish a race he was called to run, whether it was being a father, husband, pastor or finishing Ranger School.
I was very encouraged by the message.
So now you can understand why I cherish these letters from my son. He brings the experience home for the rest of us on the sidelines.
Please pray for all the guys in Ranger School to not settle and to finish strong! And while you’re at it, lift this very special Ranger up to the Lord today. Colonel Kail is a dear friend of ours undergoing a procedure today for a very serious cancer. One of the best guys we’ll ever know and a great mentor to our Soldier.