Unite the USA
11/7/17 at 02:21 PM 0 Comments

Veterans Day: Remember Our Heroes

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Much like the modest veterans it honors, Veterans Day tends to quietly arrive and exit before the general public even takes note. Veterans Day is November 11. Are you ready?

With the inspiration and information held in this edition, you can be ready and able to encourage the veterans in your path. This should be a priority for every American.

It is time to honor and thank our nation's heroes. So many heroes are humble. They often look into the distance and say the real heroes are the "ones who didn't get to come back home."

When veterans say that to us, we frequently try to reply with this affirmative fact: We believe that all of the men and women who were willing to risk their lives for the sake of our freedom and safety are heroes.

Yes, heroes indeed. Each one should be thanked.

As authors/recording artists, we have had the privilege of meeting many veterans and speaking and various events throughout the country. As millennials, we also have observed firsthand how many people lack understanding and, consequently, appreciation for the magnitude of what our veterans have done for us. It is up to you and up to us to share the truth.

Teach your kids and grandkids about veterans. For example, tell them the story one hero at a time. To start, tell them about Col. George "Bud" Day, whose story is a riveting example of unstopped determination and heroism.

We had the honor of meeting this extraordinary man. And we'll never forget it. His story is a stellar
account of what our country's brave men and women do to preserve and protect freedom
In 1942, Sioux City, Iowa native Bud Day was a young 17-year-old and he had a heart for the USA. He pleaded for his parents to allow him to volunteer for the Marine Corps. This committed, courageous young man spent about 3 years in the Pacific during WWII. After the war, he went to college and then graduated from law school.

This smart, hardworking young lawyer felt compelled to step up once again to serve his country. In 1950, he joined the Air National Guard. Uncle Sam called him up for active duty a year later. Ultimately, Bud Day became a captain during the war. As a pilot, he flew fighter jets during the Korean War.

Serving in a total of three wars, Bud Day went to Vietnam. He had earned the rank of a major and he was in command of a squadron of F-100s. On August 26, 1967, ground fire hit Day's plane and destroyed its hydraulic controls. Suddenly, his plane steeply dove and forced him to parachute out. He smashed against the fuselage and broke his arm in 3 places. And, instead of receiving immediate medical care from a kind hospital team, Bud Day met North Vietnamese militiamen who captured him and marched him to a camouflaged underground shelter.

With tremendous courage and tenacity, the wounded warrior refused to answer his captors' questions. He stood true to his beloved country. He didn't fail his USA.

His ruthless captors staged a mock execution and hung him from a rafter by his feet. He was left there for several hours. But he didn't fail the USA.

The Vietnamese felt certain his substantial injuries would prevent him from escaping so they tied him up with loosely knotted rope. But, Bud Day was not a man to be stopped! On the fifth day of his capture, he managed to untie himself and escape. He was the only POW to escape from North Vietnam.

However, on the second night of his escape, he was sleeping in thick undergrowth when either a bomb or a rocket landed nearby. The explosion gave him a concussion leaving him with
blood in his ear and sinuses and shrapnel in his leg. Even in this furthered horrendous state of injury, he continued in his escape! He survived by eating berries and frogs and evading enemy patrols.

By the time of his 12th or 15th day of escape, he heard the whirring of U.S. choppers evacuating a Marine unit. He stumbled toward the sound. Dishearteningly, they left just as he got to the landing zone.

The following morning, North Vietnamese Army patrol shot Bud Day in the leg and hand and captured him. He was returned to the camp from where he had escaped. They tortured him.

A few days later, they moved him to the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" for more torture. Such physical anguish! Bud Day was suffering from his multiple untreated and infected wound as well as malnutrition. His fingers on both hands were curled into fists from all the torture. Bud Day regained some movement by peeling his fingers back and flattening them against the wall of his cell using his full weight.

And it lasted for over five years. Yes, over five years. For over five years, Day resisted the North Vietnamese guards who tortured him. Despite all of the torture and the years of imprisonment, Bud Day remained resilient and dedicated to the Lord and his country. And He never failed the USA.

One occasion in 1971 stands out as an example of his fighting spirit and unwavering resolve: Some of the American prisoners were gathered for a forbidden worship service. Guards burst in with rifles. Day stood up, looked down the muzzle of the firearms, and started to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." The other men joined him in song. Through God's help, their spirits continued to resist and fight the Vietnamese in the name of God and freedom.

Finally, Col. Bud Day was released on March 14, 1973. Three years later, President Gerald Ford presented him with the Medal of Honor. No man was more deserving.

Yes, Col. Day was a remarkable man because of His Savior, who strengthened him in every moment. There are so words to describe his courage and extraordinary commitment to freedom and his Lord, Jesus Christ.
Yes, his story is a tremendous example of what our nation's heroes endure and sacrifice so that freedom can prevail.

Please. Share it with your family. Explain to them what our heroes really do for us. It is indeed clear that freedom is not free.

This Veterans Day, do not let it go unnoticed. Do not let any veteran enter and exit your path without your acknowledgement. Thank them. Share a gift with them. Pray for them. (Join our prayer group at PrayingPals.org.)

Remember the men and women like Col. Bud Day this Veterans Day. Take time to thank them. And take time to thank God for them.

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13, NASB).

---Carrie Beth Stoelting and Stacie Ruth Stoelting,
Sisters and Co-founders of UnitetheUSA.org

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