You Can Help Support Education for Veterans, Soldiers, and Their Families
Calvary University (CU) administrators decided to offer the lowest tuition rate to a special group of people – active military personnel, veterans, and their immediate families (spouse & children). You can give generously to help CU sustain this program, but you may ask, ”What’s the impact?” During the 2016-2017 school year, 24 students were in this category and Calvary expects this number to grow with this new initiative. Join us and show your patriotism and your faith through a donation to Calvary University. http://www.calvary.edu/donate/ We need your support to sustain this special offering.
Anything But Free
A direct correlation exists between the soldier’s service and a society’s freedom; however, ironically, the soldier’s life is anything but free. When my lifelong friend and I graduated from high school, he chose to serve in the United States Navy to mitigate the expense of college. The slogan “See the World” misled many a recruit in those days who, later, would have been all over the world and seen only a few port cities. “It’s not just a job. It’s an adventure.” This slogan left many a recruit wondering about the definition of “adventure.” For the most part, the inside of a ship or military base was what many soldiers experienced. I often hear a veteran’s tale about his or her unique service experience that sounds like anything but “freedom” to this civilian.
I remain grateful for the military service of my family and friends, and I hold special appreciation for the effort of every soldier. I learned respect for the women and men in uniform because they served for me by proxy. I believe this occupation deserves my admiration because I enjoy the freedom that was paid at a dear price (and not by me).
A Big Sacrifice
One who believes and follows Jesus Christ must recognize that freedom comes at the price of another. Jesus quoted Isaiah but fulfilled Scripture when He said, “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives … to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18). God’s Son did not provide liberty to the captives and to the oppressed by doing whatever He wanted. In fact, Jesus was limited to the narrow parameters of His Father’s plan for the redemption of sinful man (Matthew 7:21; 26:42; John 14:20). Believers know Jesus sacrificed His life’s blood for the atonement of sin. Many call this the “ultimate sacrifice”.
Soldiers face sacrifice at many levels including the possible “ultimate” one of life. Indeed, many men and women continually give as they work to resolve past experiences that present challenges in life moving forward. Without personal experience, I can only relate a few minor instances largely insignificant compared to a past warrior’s life. According to the Defense Manpower Reporting Center more than 7% of all Americans have served in the military at some point in their life (https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/dwp/index.jsp). This fact leaves little doubt that most readers understand how soldiers give something of themselves during their military career. Like many of you, I empathetically understand what they give.
One might expect the price of freedom would prompt enough fortitude for citizens to appreciate what was accomplished through someone else. Paul argued, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). So it seems, the one “set free” must remain steadfast against the temptation to return to the former slavery. Unfortunately, believers find themselves enslaved to sin. Soldiers often find their sacrifice means little to a free society.
The benefits afforded to soldiers through legal mandate seem like a small reward. My aforementioned friend found, after receiving his Good Conduct Medal, that his expert training had little civilian relevance. A college education was desired and needed and earned. Many mistakenly believe soldiers get free education through military benefits. This simply is untrue. Soldiers and veterans look for military friendly schools (like CU) that can make needed training affordable. Men and women of the armed forces deserve help from their brothers and sisters in Christ as we can relate to their gift.
A Call to Action
Please allow me this indulgence: On Independence Day 2017, celebrate by thanking your Savior and by thanking a Soldier. Prayerfully consider giving to CU so we can continue our Military Benefit program. Remember, someone else paid for your freedom. And, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16).