Our Precious Joel has influenced people all around the world. This e-mail came from Charles Armstrong, MAJ 1CD G5 planner in the US Army in Iraq. It was written to his pastor in Kansas after receiving an e-mail from him about Joel. Joel's aunt Tami and her family are members of the congregation in Kansas. It is one of the many examples that we have received from so many of you. We wanted to share this with you as a tribute to Joel, the little soldier:
I have been meaning to send you a note to let you know what is going on with me. I will do so hopefully within the next week, but wanted to share some thoughts that have come into my mind based on this email.
First, this email has caused me more "pain" than I can possibly state.
I do not know why, but this email has caused me to become more emotional than anything else has since deploying. I know that I tend to bottle up my emotions very tightly while deployed as a coping mechanism for what I see and hear over here. This is not to suggest that it is not personal for me, nor that I am in any way a machine that is cold and remorseless.
That is not even close to the truth. There is a lot to cry about over here...missing our families, loss of soldiers, wounded soldiers, and just pure frustration. But we all tend to keep this bottled up tight or else we would not be able to develop the plans and give the orders required to succeed over here.
That is why I am perplexed by my reaction to this message about Joel.
Hearing or writing his name brings tears immediately to my eyes. Many of my "office-mates" have asked me about this since I first read the message. I have shared it with everyone. I also took your message to one of our Chaplains, who is also a soldier, to see if he could put it out to the larger Congregation of Christians that are over here. I am sure that there are and have been volumes of prayers for little Joel from over here in the past couple of hours. I am distraught that I am unable to do more, which in my mind is because I am not in the states, although in my heart I know that it is something different. Maybe the fact that Dannielle is 3 years old as well is causing me distress as well. Every time I pray, I thank God for the blessings that he has bestowed on me and my family. I guess that this episode is showing just how blessed we all are and how much we take for granted. Maybe I am ashamed for not more clearly and completely thanking God for all that he has blessed me with. I am not sure, but I am sure that eventually I will figure it out. So, if nothing else, Joel is teaching me a hard lesson in humility and faith when he should be out playing with his family and friends.
I have also realized recently that our nation is under attack from within by the secular-progressive or secular-humanists who want to rewrite our history and redefine the foundation of Christianity upon which our nation was established. I am convinced that the media is at least culpable in this onslaught against values, morals, and ethics.
Our legal system is also being overrun with these immoral forces who are chipping away at what has and continues to make the US great. No law should ever allow a woman to be murdered by her husband, even if she is legally dead, Terry Schiavo. And no one should be allowed to not give Joel every little thing that he needs. The laws of man are one thing, but the Laws of God are another. I would not want this to happen to my daughter and no medical people, regardless of the law, should be able to pronounce something until it is over. We do not understand the mind, means, and ways of our Lord and it is not for us to decide. What I know with all of my heart is that "kicking" this little boy to "the curb" is wrong. There is no justification, there is no law that makes this OK.
I apologize for making this a bit of a vent. As I stated before, my prayers are with Joel and his family, as well as with Tammi and her family and all of those who are Christian.
I will write a better message soon, I promise.
Take Care and God Bless,
Used by permission of Major Armstrong