I just got off the phone with a parent of one of my soldiers. She’ll be referred to as PVT S. PVT S came to us back in January in our first cycle of the year. We get so many soldiers with so many stories. Many times I just get brief snippets of their lives, other times I get more information than I want! PVT S is older, probably in her 30’s. I met her through a request she put in through her Drill SGT. My first meeting with her I remembered thinking “Man!; What is this person doing in the Army?” She was struggling both physically and emotionally.

One Sunday at church she came forward at the invitation to receive the grace and mercy we all so desperately need. She was overcome emotionally at the thought of God’s forgiveness. I knew she had been on the rough side of things, but I never pried. Her physical difficulties continued. She missed some crucial training and did not graduate with her company. This was a heart breaker for her. But to her credit she pressed on. She refused to give up.

She joined another training company and started basically all over again. She is finally going to finish this week. All she has to do is chuck a couple of grenades and then she moves on. Her platoon has been bad so they have lost their phone privileges. So she asked me to give her parents a call so they wouldn’t make plane reservations for a graduation ceremony that she’ll not attend.

I spoke with her mom and found out some remarkable stuff. Before PVT S joined the Army she spent 12 years basically estranged from her family. Her mom tells me that her family cared deeply for her. I believe her. We are all free will beings able to choose one path from another no matter our upbringing. Believe me, I know that first hand. She lost her way for a long time. Her mom found her about 6 months ago on a curb, literally. They went directly to the recruiting center. That middle aged soldier displayed some remarkable courage. She came from over a decade of wandering to relationship with her maker and a life turned in a new direction. I continue even after 26 months of this stuff to be amazed!


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