The Fallen

September 21, 2021 | Chad Pervier

The evacuation of American citizens and allies in Afghanistan brought back memories I normally keep to myself and a small group of friends and family. Before I go further into this blog there are a few things you need to know about me. I was raised in a military family and on my 17th birthday I enlisted in the Marine Corps with my parents’ approval. After serving for a dozen years, I left active duty and transitioned to a support role with the Marines as a contractor, a role I proudly continue to this day. Once a Marine, always a Marine. 

Between my time on active duty and as a contractor I spent nearly three years in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a member of a helicopter crew, our main mission was the evacuation of casualties from the battlefield. This included Marines, civilians and even enemy soldiers. We weren’t always fast enough to save everyone. During that time I learned war does not care what side you are on.

So, when news broke of an attack at one of the evacuation sites in Kabul, Afghanistan my mind went numb. As I watched everything unfold on live TV, I learned that my good friend’s son was deployed there to provide security. Emotions I hadn’t felt in years came over me and not knowing what else to do, I prayed. 

I prayed for the safety of our service members carrying out the evacuation. I prayed for our allies and the civilians who wanted to leave. And I prayed for the families of the ones who lost loved ones that day. 

It was a relief to hear later in the day that my friend’s son was not among the 13 killed and more than 30 wounded. The bombing had shaken everyone up but also strengthened their resolve. I was reminded of Pastor Mark’s recent talk about audacity. To be audacious is to show a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks. Every service member over there showed the kind of audacity that the Lord inspires when faced with adversity. 

Psalms 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants” (NIV). I believe this to be true. There is something special about a person who volunteers to put his or her life at risk for a higher cause. As the war in Afghanistan ends, it is important to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. 

An unknown author wrote a quote that helps portray two very important sacrifices made for us all. “Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.”

Never forget John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And God bless the men and women of our Armed Forces.