As Memorial Day approaches it brings me back to the Viet Nam war and the men I fought with. When I visited the wall in Washington, DC some time ago, I did not find any names of the men closest to me whom I left behind when I came home, but I do know that over 50,000 lost their lives during that conflict.
It seems so useless now, after all history has been written, and being there I can say there is no doubt - we did not belong there. I love my country, but the constitution allows us to defend against enemies within and without, and in that war, we may have been our own worst enemy.
To me, it parallels drug addiction and subsequent overdoses and death as we face it in our country. It's another battlefield that is unnecessary and it is growing daily. Just last night Trey told the story of a man who wanted to come to his rehab and after several exchanges of phone calls told him he was ready to give it a try. While at the hospital the man died of a heroin overdose; so tragic, but yet so typical of what is happening today.
I could add to that at least seven deaths of folks who have come to our meetings in the past year, and as we remember them we must remember that this addiction is a complex and baffling thing, the weapons being fired against those in addiction are locked and loaded with pain and suffering after their initial few moments of peace.
It is our duty to stand up and fight against this within our own households, neighborhoods and with those who come to us ready to quit. Before it is too late, we have to tell them that there is hope and it begins in finding a relationship with our creator. Sometimes it sinks in, others ignore the call, but it is up to us to keep pounding the proverbial pulpit so to speak with that message time after time again.
Now I know why I was in Nam, to get ready for this present day battle, but this time there is a difference. Instead of fighting with one hand tied behind my back, I am coming out with both guns blazing in defense of these young people who are wanting to change, and we will not stop until the devil becomes our casualty, let him pay the price this time.
We remember, but we must remember to let the devil know just how much power the God who leads us into battle has, and how much greater His weapons are than those of the enemy.
We remember, and we fight on behind the ultimate general of victorious hope!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.