Monday, May 25, 2009

We All Thank You

Shortly after I arrived to pastor our Yuma, Arizona church, I heard about a guy named Pete. Pete was a Marine Harrier pilot who had had been a faithful part of the church family for several years. Single and good looking, Pete was considered a very eligible bachelor.

Just a few years later, Pete returned to Yuma for a new assignment. This time he had his young bride Janet with him. We got to know this young couple quite well and celebrated the birth of their two daughters.

Pete was slightly shorter than average height and was typical Marine -- very physically fit. I discovered that, though small in stature, he could hit a golf ball a country mile. In fact, I got the privilege of playing with him in a tournament one day and loved it. (We almost won!)

When Pete and Janet were transferred to D.C., Cathy and I visited with them on a trip there. We were excited to learn that he had been selected to take command of one of the Harrier squadrons back in Yuma and would move back here about a year later. Their arrival brought us the great joy that comes from knowing you get to spend time with old friends.

In the spring of 1998, we were mourning the loss of one of our own -- a young California Highway Patrol officer who was killed in the line of duty. I was sitting in a local restaurant talking through the grief with another man from our church. Right in the middle of our conversation, my cell phone rang.

"Sam, we just received the call that Pete Yount was in a Harrier crash. We need you to come now." I cut off the other conversation and ran out the door. That day, April 22, 1998, Pete Yount, who went by the call sign "Gator", helped pay the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

We are ever grateful for all who have given their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for this great nation.


C. Beth said...

Thanks for reminding me about Pete today, Dad.


Thank you Pete, and ALL who have given for our freedom. God bless you all.