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reaching out for veterans

Discussion in 'Evangelism' started by VetstoChrist, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Since I am a vet, I have a passion to witness to vets and really focus on veterans accepting Christ. Is this because it's what i know?or being selfish?
    Pathwalker likes this.
  2. Were you ever in a combat situation? Iraq, Afghanistan. If so, seeing how life is so fragile, and fleeting, I can see how that would cause you to make sure someone who has been in the same situation as you, to make sure that their life is secure in Christ.
  3. Just to let you know where I am coming from, I am ex military. My active service overlapped the official Vietnam era by one (count it one!!!) day. Officially, I can call myself a Vietnam era veteran, which would be a gross stretch. There have been times when a job with a company that does business with the government gave special consideration to such vets. I never claimed that distinction. I am proud of my service but after basic & tech school I spent my term in the Pentagon, and that during peacetime. I do not place my service in the same category as those that served in the "real" military and even less in the category of those that have been in-theater during conflict.

    Whatever the details of your service to this country has been, I salute you.

    As for your question:

    If God has given you a passion for a particular area, by all means pursue that area. You may find God leading you to an existing group that ministers and witnesses to Vets, you may be lead to follow your own path and reach some that those may miss. Either way, a veteran will likely listen to another veteran much more readily than to someone that has little personal connection.
  4. Yes I completed two deployments to Iraq a total of four years. I was a combat medic. I'm former 101 AB 50th AA .
  5. Combat or not your service is amazing. I bet the Pentagon could be same level as Iraq. Lol
    I couldn't do it.
  6. I served during peace time as well, in the Marine Corps. It was still tough and I still consider it the "real" military, as should you. You should not diminish your service to your country, as some of the veterans you want to help may not have seen combat either, and would you tell them their service is somehow less? The only distinction I make is that I state I am a veteran, although not a combat veteran.

    If you feel that God is calling you to witness to veterans, than by all means pick up that torch. Pray earnestly about it, and if He is indeed leading you into this calling, then you should obey it. And it is desperately needed. There is a real epidemic of suicide occurring in the veteran community in the US right now, and they need all the help and witnessing to that they can get. Be prepared to deal with that.
  7. Actually, I am proud of my service. I enlisted without a predetermined specialty, not a predetermined geographic area (both were options at the time). I went where I was told, ad I was told to go to the Pentagon. I believe I did a good job while serving, as well as after leaving active duty, since I spent about 75% of me post service career supporting military projects. But serving at the Pentagon, even in peace time is not the same as serving in the field, even in other CONUS assignments. I was just acknowledging the fact that what my country asked of me did not require the level of personal commitment as many who serve now.

    The only caveat to my statement is that I never checked the box for a wartime veteran when applying to a position. One day spent in the induction center on the last day of what would eventually be determined by congress to be 'Vietnam Era", in my mind hardly qualified me for whatever distinction the hiring organization placed in that designation. It is to honor those that have served under fire, and in support positions that I draw a distinction in my mind.

    I pray and endeavor to keep myself ready to follow the Holy Spirit in witness to those I meet daily, veteran or not. My concentrated area of ministry is with those that have had similar medical challenges to mine.
    JohnP likes this.
  8. I've been blessed that neither my father nor I saw any war in our military time. I only did 5 years Air Force, and I thoroughly loved it. I got out because to make E5 I needed 135 points and the test would only give me 100... the 35 had to come from medals, time in service, etc. and my career field didn't get them. We had people retire as E7's after 25 years! So I moved on.
  9. I find the best advocates for any particular group of people are those that have been there, and done that, with that group.
  10. While there are some variations between the services, the military has a way of communicating that most folks who have never served just don't get. They also tend to be goal/mission oriented.

    I also know that many vets get impatient or annoyed when they see ineffective work, blatant manipulation techniques like many churches employ, or repetitiuos dogma.

    As sad as it is there is also an increasingly small number of people in the church who understand service or why following orders (otherwise known as obedience) can be critically important.

    Add in the trauma and scars that come from being seperated from loved ones, knowingly placing yourself in harms way, or actually being in harms way and you have a group that few others really know how to deal with.

    A calling to reach vets is no small thing. I would add that you should also work toward discipling vets as well. Evangelism is just the first step.
    tmoderncatholic and JohnP say Amen and like this.
  11. Combat and military service is a baptism of bodily camaraderie.
    Water, belief in Christ, and faith is a baptism of Spiritual fellowship - where obedience is important.
    To push obedience where obedience has already been proven requires an authority of highest respect.
    To earn that respect requires Unconditional love and Truth, especially the truth of the vet's life.

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