Monday, April 14, 2014

Faith in the Military: Having a Blast, Finding God

November 9, 1973, just after 9 a.m., I was connecting wires to detonators at a U.S. Air Force missile test site in Utah.  Someone turned on the power, and my world turned bright blue and white.  Several minutes later I was strapped in an all-terrain ambulance headed for the first of six eye operations that would eventually restore my sight.  Along with the eye operations, I had surgery to reattach two fingers on my right hand and to remove wires, screws and various pieces of metal from my face, arms and chest.
It was Friday.  I had planned to ride my motorcycle up into the mountains for the weekend.  My plans changed. On November 9, 1973, I woke up an agnostic.  

Before the day ended, I believed in God and a few months later, I went the whole way to become a Christian.  I would have preferred a smoother path to faith, but at 20 years old, I test-fired missiles for a day job and rode a motorcycle in mountains of Utah for recreation.  I was not inclined to listen to a still, small voice—blindness was the right size megaphone for God to announce His existence to me.

It would be a week before I could see again with one eye.  A month before both eyes could see again.

My First Military Haircut, February 1, 1972

The night before my Basic Training haircut. When I arrived at Lackland Air Force Base on February 1, 1972, among the first order of bu...