Roger Helle / March 10, 2021

Courage Conquers Fear

It certainly doesn’t mean the absence of fright; it means the backbone to do what’s right.

The jungle had an eerie stillness that morning as we made our way through the valley. It didn’t take long before we knew something was wrong. When the North Vietnamese opened fire all around us, we knew we were in trouble. Marines, doing what they were trained to do, quickly took cover to try to overcome the overwhelming volume of enemy fire. It was coming from every direction.

Marines were falling all around me. Cries from Corpsmen were coming from everywhere. In the midst of the confusion and fear, I saw Marines perform acts of courage such as I had never seen before. Marines risked their lives to pull wounded buddies out of the line of fire. “No man left behind” was carried out at great personal risk. Like their forefathers on Iwo Jima years before, “uncommon valor was a common virtue” that day.

This wasn’t even my unit. I had been asked to volunteer for the operation because a young lieutenant I had come to know asked me to fill in for a sick squad leader. In the opening moments of the battle, the lieutenant was critically wounded along with one squad leader. The third squad leader was killed immediately, leaving me in charge of the platoon. This was not a responsibility I wanted, but somebody had to step in and direct the platoon. The battle lasted three days. The lieutenant died because we could not medivac him out of the valley. Those memories are with me forever.

I don’t feel I did anything particularly courageous. I knew I couldn’t let the fear I experienced every hour paralyze me and do nothing. During World War II, Winston Churchill is alleged to have said, “Sometimes it’s not enough to do your best. You need to do what’s required!”

Today, in our current culture, courage is many times lacking. How many things have been “canceled” because someone was offended? People are offended by the Ten Commandments, so we remove them. Prayer and Bibles in the school? Get rid of them! A Nativity Scene in the Courthouse Square — are you kidding? Baby Jesus has to go.

But now we’ve moved on to more critical social issues demanding change. Dr. Seuss, white Coca-Cola workers, Mr. Potato Head. To my utter horror, I even learned that Speedy Gonzales is facing cancelation for being racist. I’m not a rocket scientist, but has anyone told these snowflakes that Coca-Cola’s polar bears are white? Asking for a friend.

Add to these critical issues the For the People Act and the Equality Act, both designed to destroy the freedoms we enjoy. Leftists will NOT stop in their efforts to destroy our nation as we know it. Where are our Republican leaders when we need them to speak out? Where are the spiritual leaders who have gone AWOL (absent without leave) for years now, dodging the moral issues? We don’t have the option to do nothing under this legislative onslaught.

This battle is going to require mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual COURAGE. Men (and women) of valor, where are you?

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life.” —II Corinthians 1:8

Something to pray about!

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