Friday, November 11, 2005

In honor of Veterans Day


The following is a dedication I made to Tyler, a young man from our church who recently was posted in Iraq.


When we first came to Rural Hall Moravian eight years ago I became Sunday School teacher for the senior highs. I had taught the same age group at our former church and since both of my sons were of the age I felt as if I could relate well to that group.

The funny thing is, various people kept rolling their eyes and saying, oh, you’ll have Tyler in your class.

Yes I knew Tyler. I had known Tyler for years. We had done Scouts with him, Little League Baseball and WCCC Basketball. I had known Tyler for years.

But I didn’t know Tyler. The first few Sundays I soon learned all about Tyler.

I recall after the first mission trip that my oldest son Josh went on to Florida with Tyler. He thought he was a big stud. Kyle Kiser too, since they were football players at North Forsyth.

Tyler got all the girls on the trip.

When Drew went on a mission trip with Tyler to Memphis, he told me the story about Tyler’s rebellion. You see they weren’t allowed to remove their shirts in the 100 plus degree heat. Tyler took care of that. He took off his shirt and used the paint for the house to paint one on. Blue and white striped as I recall.

On Sunday mornings Tyler told all of us stories about his Saturday nights in High Point with the car guys. He told us about Tai Kwan Do. He showed up the video of his Black Belt test. He gave us Korean lessons. He also gave me some creative alternative words to use when I get a case of road rage.

He told us how good the Football game was on Friday night by how many drum heads he broke playing in the band. It didn’t matter what the score board said. If I recall we usually lost. All that mattered was how hard we played.

Sometimes I would give the class impossible physical challenges as examples. Tyler always managed to do them.

He also managed to distract me with the Kevin Bacon game, six degrees of separation. He even tried to stump me by using the guy in the Lewis and Daggett commercials. Robert Vaughn. Mag 7 with Steve McQueen, with Paul Newman in Towering Inferno with Tom Cruise in Color or Money, with Kevin Bacon in a few good men.

But he was also prepared for the lesson. Since Lynora also taught, they would discuss it before hand and he knew what to expect.

When Josh, Travis, Kyle and Audrey were talking about what college they were going too, Tyler informed us that he was going into the National Guard. It was hard
to imagine such exuberance in the military. But he went. He came back after basic and told us the story of saving a young man’s life. That part did not surprise me.

And we all got a kick out of the look he gave a young lady in our class when she asked him if it was hard to do basic training in his uniform. He was wearing his dress uniform that day. I don’t think she realized that he had more than one.

Tyler has excelled in the military in the past four years. He also got a college degree. He’s become a leader of men. And he’s been trained for war.

And now, while my son is beating the bushes trying to find a job, Tyler is going to go fight in a war. Tyler is going to defend our freedom to attend this church, and be able to come here in safety. Tyler is going to make sure that we can go about our daily lives without fear.

And knowing what I know about Tyler. He will be the first one in line to do it.

We had some bracelets made up with Tyler’s name on them. They’re for anyone here who wants one. They are to remind you to pray for Tyler, and to pray for his unit. But they are also to remind you to pray for Lynora, Jerry, Holly, Tom and Ashley, Tyler’s finance. Because even though Tyler will be in the thick of the fighting, the rest will be here waiting. And as everyone knows, waiting is the hardest part.

Good Luck Tyler. Stay Safe. And remember, we're all praying for you.

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