Sunday, April 8, 2012


PV2 Pete's Journey for Help is a look-see at the thoughts and heart of a young soldier who returned to Iowa from deployment to Afghanistan.  He is facing some real struggles integrating into "normalcy".  His story, while unique, is one that many of the 2,800 that deployed in July of 2010 and returned home the summer of 2011 are experiencing in one form or another. 

We haven't  heard much from PV2 in quite some time.  And the reason?  Well, thankfully, he appears to be on the right road.  He's dating a young lady and he has continued to work in his support for Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

But more importantly, there has been a big conversion in his attitude about life and what direction and purpose there is for his future.

We hooked up the other day to catch up.   And here is a story he was told which he's using as a remembrance where he was months ago..... and how he sees an opportunity to help others in the future.     

Who Needs Who More?
"I remember an incident that took place a few years ago at Huntington Beach.  The summer day was beautiful, the sun was warm, and it felt good to be down at the ocean.

I walked into the water to do a little body surfing.  Suddenly, I noticed something unusual about another swimmer.  He was a young man, about twenty years of age, and maybe twenty-five yards in front of me.  He was struggling against the waves, and as I watched him, I knew something was very wrong!  I quickly swam over to him, grabbed him, and towed him back to the beach where we were both out of danger.

Bringing him to safety had proved to be no easy task, and afterward we both sat on the sand for awhile, exhausted.  In a few moments, I introduced myself, and he told me his name was Steve.

When we finally caught our breath, I asked him a question.  "Steve, were you drowning out there?'  He bent his head and looked down at the sand.  He hesitated and then answered, "Yes."  Even though we had come through this experience together, this young man felt so embarrassed that he could not even look at me one on one.  He could not look me in the eye!

After a moment, I asked him a second question.  "Steve, since you felt you were drowning, why didn't you cry out for help?"

Almost immediately he turned, looked at me and said, "Cry out for help, Mike?  What would my friends think if I cried out for help?"

I sat there stunned.  I could not believe what I had heard.  How foolish, I thought.  In another minute Steve would have drowned.  Yet, no matter what, he would not have cried out for help.  He was going to make it on his own or not make it at all.

Why is that, like that young man at Huntington Beach, so many people find it difficult to say, "Help, I need you!  I need encouragement!  I need support!  I don't think I can do it alone?"  Why do people refuse to reach out for help and support?  Why do we find it hard to admit we need encouragement?  We all need to pray this prayer.

"Father, I need you.  I need your help.  I know I cannot go through life alone.

I'm so glad You've provided brothers and sisters in the Lord who will stand by me, support me, and reach out to me even when I am unable to ask."  

"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble."  ( Psalm 9: 9 )

For all those out there who provided support and encouragement to me when I was drowning, (and you know who you are) thanks from the bottom of my heart for keeping me from sinking!  I will never forget what you did to keep me alive and never giving up and giving in.  I wish everyone had a thousand friends like you have been to me. 

Pete's story was very impactful to say the least.  He'd had these great words passed onto him when he was in that "sinking" state.  Just like many of us.  On this beautiful Easter day...look around you at ones who might need your help.  Today, you might be giving the help and tomorrow you just might need it yourself.  Just like Pete has figured out.

He is Risen.



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