Veterans Day: Shield of Strength

1-john-3-16-veterans-day

Captain Russell Rippetoe was serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. Previously, while serving in Afghanistan, Rippetoe saw men die, which brought a renewal to his Christian faith and a new passion for the Bible.

On the chain around his neck, he wore a “Shield of Strength,” a one-by-two-inch emblem displaying a U.S. flag on one side and words from Joshua 1:9 on the other.

On April 3, 2003, Rippetoe’s company was manning a nighttime checkpoint near the Hadithah Dam when a vehicle approached. Suddenly, a woman jumped out and cried, “I’m hungry. I need food and water!” Protecting his men, Rippetoe gave the order to hold back as he moved toward the woman to see how he could help. When she hesitated, the driver detonated a car bomb that killed Captain Rippetoe, Sergeant Nino Livaudais, and Specialist Ryan Long and wounded several others.

Rippetoe believed the ancient words of Joshua 1:9: “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Rippetoe, who died trying to help someone, was the first casualty of the Iraq conflict to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? — Psalm 27:1

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.  — Psalm 30:5

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. — Psalm 28:7

* * *

Your Turn

Today in the USA, it’s Veterans Day, a day to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of our veterans. It began as Armistice Day to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” — President Wilson

After World War II, Raymond Weeks, a WW2 veteran, came up with the idea of expanding Armistice Day to become a celebration of all veterans — an annual National Veterans Day. It became law nine years later on May 26, 1954.

Today, raise Old Glory up the flagpole and pray for our veterans who have served our nation! Please join the conversation on our blog and share your thanks for the veterans in your life. We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Dr. Richard Lee

Dr. Richard Lee is the Founding Pastor of First Redeemer Church located in metropolitan Atlanta's Forsyth County. Dr. Lee graduated magna cum laude from Mercer University and Luther Rice Seminary, earning the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees in Theology and Pastoral Ministry. Dr. Lee is a frequent speaker in conferences, conventions and campuses nationally. For the past twenty seven years he has served as the President and speaker for There's Hope America, media ministry.

Like the article? Share it!

Related posts

Top