SgtMaj Ramirez would like you to find and read “A Message to Garcia” before February’s Character Development class.
Lessons that we learn at GSAR School apply to life in general. Life can be like being in the “wilderness” and we can all get lost sometimes if we are not careful. We must learn the skills and gain the confidence to survive ourselves and to help others find their way through life.
- Success demands preparation and practice. What you do today will determine your tomorrow, so don’t waste your time and opportunities goofing off when you should be focused on your future. Take care of your gear (body, mind, spirit) and train like your life depends upon it.
- Teamwork is everything! T.E.A.M. = Together Everybody Accomplishes More. You are always better when you link up with others.
- There is joy in community. Don’t try to do life on your own. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto and their horses to hang out with! Take time to enjoy others and to let them know and enjoy you. We’re all weird, so have fun and get over yourself!
- Safety is paramount – physical, emotional, and spiritual stuff included. Guard your heart (emotions) and your character (reputation) and your future. Look out for your friends too. We all get stupid at times and friends tell friends when they are being dumb!
- Confusion is normal. Despite your best planning, “Murphy” will show up and stuff will go wrong. Things always take longer than you expected. Mistakes will be made, but learn from it and don’t waste lots of time and energy feeling guilty or angry about it. Remember to FIDO –“Forget It and Drive On”, or as the Marines say: “Adapt and Overcome”!
- Stay in touch with Home Base (God). Keep communicating with others who care about you. Follow your Creator’s instructions (BIBLE=Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) and you’ll never stay lost. God always knows exactly where you are, and how to get you where you’ll need to be.
- Perfection is an illusion. Trying to be perfect will just drive you and everybody who knows you crazy. Progress is your goal, and you can do that a little each day! You are only competing against yourself. Remember that tomorrow is a new day – so anticipate it. Today is a gift – so enjoy it!
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
“We are the Civil Air Patrol”
“We proudly live out CAP Core Values”
Integrity – “We do the right thing”
Volunteer Service – “We serve our community and country”
Excellence – “We give our best effort”
Respect – “We honor others and our squadron”
“This is our privilege and our pledge to each other”