Today, as I was involved in my morning devotions and Scripture readings, it dawned on me that today is the commemoration of Saint Martin of Tours in the Christian Church. Why is this so important on Veterans Day?
You may remember that Martin was born in 316 and joined the Roman army. He later became a monk and was appointed the bishop of Tours in Gaul, modern day France. It is of Martin the story is told of the winter night when he was walking back to Tours and met ill-clad beggar freezing in the night. Martin took his sword, cut his cape into two parts, handing one to the begger to keep him warm. That night in a dream Martin saw Jesus wearing the portion of the cape.
Over the years, the cape, the chapella, was kept in the place where Martin served, now called a chapel. As Martin also served as the spiritual advisor to the leaders of the Roman army, his job was called Chaplain, the keeper of the cape.
Thus, no matter our religious background, be it Christian, Jewish, or some other, we who bear the name Chaplain, we who are members of the Chaplain Corps, do so in honor. We are called to serve God and our fellow man, to give of ourselves for the betterment of others.
As members of the Chaplain Corps in the Civil Air Patrol, we remember with thanksgiving and reverence those who have served this country and in doing so have preserved our freedoms. We especially remember those who gave their lifeblood to water the tree of liberty that it may continue to grow and flourish.
If you are a veteran, please accept my thanks and respect for your service. As you are a member of the Chaplain Corps, know that it is a great honor that I am allowed to serve you and serve with you.
A blessed commemoration of Saint Martin of Tours, and a joyous Veterans Day to each of you.
COWG Chaplain Jeff Williams