Prone to Forget

"We often forget the things that we thought we would never forget".

I found that quote today and put it my briefing for my commander. I had forgotten all this week. I sit here hacking this email out just a few miles from the Tigris river in the desert of the middle east. I am surrounded each day by soldiers who leave the "wire" and expose themselves to death. Just this week I was reminded again of how real all this is. At our combat surgical hospital, the choppers came in, the docs were scrubbed and ready to go to do what they do, but that didn't happen. Because there was no one to save. All three young soldiers had been killed when an explosion blew up their MRAP. So this week some Chaplain and another officer had to go to some poor woman's house and ruin her life that her son or husband was killed in action. And that was done three times this week. It was a sobering day.

I met with a soldier from that unit today. His best friend was killed in the attack. He's a strong man, but the weight of the instantaneous loss of his buddy is taking its toll. The strain is ever-present in his eyes. As he knelt in tears all I could or needed to do was pray with Him.

Like it or not the events of this week began 8 years ago today, actually back further than that, but the hinge point was September 11th. I know it was for me. It was the day that I knew I'd be at some point serving in the Army, kneeling with soldiers in grief and smiling with them in joy.

We are prone to forget. I forgot that I was working on a sliding glass door with my buddy Nathan. I forgot as we watched through that glass at some lady's house in Troutman NC and wondered what could be going on in New York. I forgot about the smoke and fire that came out of those buildings. I forgot the replays over and over again of that plane tearing through that building in a giant ball of fire. I forgot that the three of us watched on live TV, most of us did, as those massive buildings fell in seconds. I forgot the sick feeling I had in my stomach. I forgot how mad I was. I forgot the prayer that we prayed on our knees in that living room of some woman that I have not seen since. I forgot the conversation that I had with my wife on the phone, "Can you beleive it?!" What is going to happen now?" I forgot how we cried as we watched on TV all that day and all the next week. I had forgotten it all. That is until I remembered it. Then it all flooded back in. And one way or another I sit here, half a world away from my family and my home simply because 9-11 happened. I am here now, because that day quickened my soul and I could no longer sit by and just let things happen any more. Small is it may be, I had to play my part.

We had a 9-11 memorial service today to jog our memories. We saw the pictures again, heard the news clips. The stories were shared again. It is through this sharing of experience that we lessen the plague of forgetfulness. Remember today what you felt like that day. Don't forget the thing that you swore you could never forget.

I am even more aware now of Jesus' words, "Do this in remembrance of me", because He knew that if we did not have a reminder, some way of jogging us out of our daily slumber, we'd forget the thing we swore we'd never forget.

I have not forgotten today.


A Christian said…
Hi Brad!
Just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you here in Statesville and appreciate your sacrifice.
Rachel (Facebook)
Bryan said…
Chaplain Borders,
thanks for your service and for you podcast "heart of a soldier" just started listening while i work out. i'm a seminary student and enjoy your podcast as i try to get down to weight for meps and the chaplain candidate program. keep up the entertaining broadcasts and God bless u n yours

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