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Posts Tagged ‘Military’

A weekend non-theological book review.  Cause Pastors also need a break with other readings…

Robert M. Gates. Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.  New York, NY: Knopf, January 14th 2014. 640 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Let me begin by saying I rarely pick up memoirs and of those I have started very few I have ever finished.  A lot of them end up being somewhat anti-climatic and sometimes they can be too narcissistic for my taste.  Often in the back of my mind I wonder if there are things left out or opinions given that end up being more of a hindrance to knowing the truth.  So the fact that I finished this memoir and am writing a review of this book speaks volume of how much I enjoyed this work.

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This is a weekend non-fiction leisure reading review.  ‘Cause ministers need a break from heavy reading too.

Jonathan Jordan.  American Warlords: How Roosevelt’s High Command Led America to Victory in World War II. New York, NY: Penguin Group, May 5th 2015. 624 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What an incredible book on military history and history of military leadership.  This work is a look at the important men during World War Two that played a pivotal role in Franklin Roosevelt’s War Department towards winning World War Two.  This is a book that is a gold mine of information, a well-researched that surprisingly is also very readable for general readers.

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Today’s the Marine Corps Birthday and as a Marine Veteran myself, I thought I post this review of a book I really enjoyed recently!

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Hampton Sides. Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission.  New York, NY: Anchor Books, May 7th, 2002. 344 pp.

5 out of 5

I am finally glad I got to finish reading this book after first seeing this book fourteen years ago as a young Marine on the eve of the Iraq war.  Back then I saw another Marine have a copy of this book, I got to thumb through it briefly and found the stories very fascinating but somehow I never got around to reading this again until recently.  This was an epic book and I’m truly humbled reading about the heroes in this book just as I was fourteen years ago.

The book is about the incredible military operation conducted by 6th Ranger Battalion to rescue American Prisoner of Wars who were the survivors of the Bataan Death March.  It was a daring raid since it took place deep within enemy lines at the Cabanatuan POW camp.  As the book pointed out the raid was also all the more daring given that military special operation at that time was still in its infancy.

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Tonight’s weekend reading review…as always, because Pastors also need a mental break.

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David Smith.  The Price of Valor. Washington DC: Regnery History, January 1st, 2015. 258 pp.

I enjoyed this biography on Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of World War Two.  It is about time I finally know more about him!  I was wondering whether to start with Audie’s autobiography or this biography told in a third person perspective but in the end I thought it was better to start with this work by David Smith.  I don’t regret it—that’s because I enjoyed it very much.

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Dear —————-,

I’ve thought about this for several hours before I put anything in writing. I think God’s justice as a universal principle demands that those who murder should also forfeit their life as taught in Genesis 9:6.  Genesis 9:6 is situated in the Noahic Covenant, a universal covenant (cf. Genesis 9:9-17, with the description of ‘everlasting’, etc). We all remember sunday school lessons that the rainbow is a symbol of this covenant, and unless we say that the covenant can be revoked (that is, God can destory the whole world by flood again), the requirement of Genesis 9:6 stands. Having said that, how Genesis 9:6 is implemented is important: I think we would agree that God has given the state the role of justice (Romans 13:4). In fact Romans 13:4 is unintelligible without presupposing Genesis 9:6. The Osama circumstance was fulfilled by the right institution that God ordained (I oppose to individual vigilantes, or executions practiced by the family or the church). In such a case where the wicked perish, I think it is Biblical to have a multifaceted response to the news. From the Scripture, we see that even in heaven, it is legitimate for people to cry out to God and petition for justice which spells out as judgment upon the wicked (Revelation 6:10-11). We see that even after God’s judgment (in the context, Babylon is view, cf. Rev. 18), the saints in heaven are able to rejoice with the news (Revelation 19:1-3). The rejoicing is with what God has done directly or mediated through His agents. At the same time, the idea of someone who perish should grieve us just as it grieves God. We should be sad that Osama did not repented from his ways in the final end. The two kisses together and I think that we must never forget that though God in some sense does not delight in the wicked perishing, He nevertheless is still a God of justice in His character. We must never forget that God’s judgment of sins are not arbitrary. I believe the third aspect to this multifaceted response is also one of reverential fear…we ourselves deserve punishment for our own sins, but only mercy and grace has saved us from our sins. Hope this makes some sense, it’s 1 in the morning and I”m trying to finish a paper. Again, I think a multifacted response might be biblical.

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mr-2

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I was watching the news today, showing an interview with McCain. During the interview, the reporter asked a question dealing with an underpriviledged military and how the priviledged (excluding McCain) do not serve. It’s always annoying when popular myths like a “victimized military” and call for a draft continue to perpetuate schools and the media. Although McCain did not contend this point about under-representation, this myth has already been debunked years ago. Recently, I came across some research that does called “Who Bears the Burden?” by Dr. Tim Kane from 2005.

In the article, Dr. Kane talks a little about the history of military recruiting before dwelving into the research comparing the demographics before 9/11 and after. The article says that before 9/11 the number of recruits from the middle class was slightly higher than the lower income brackets. After 9/11, “However, the proportion of high-income recruits rose to a disproportionately high level after the war on ter­rorism began, as did the proportion of highly edu­cated enlistees.”

Not only did the research find that the level of income was higher before and after 9/11 but the research also found that the recruits before and after 9/11 have a higher education level than the general population as well. Dr. Kane points out that the military has 98% who’ve completed high school or higher, in contrast to the 75% who’ve done so in the general population. Below is a graphical comparison:

Interestingly, enough, although the level of the general population that have take some college is much higher than the military’s, the difference drops down when comparing those that have completed post-high school education.

Other comparisons include the recruit demographics by race, by rural versus city, Southern versus New England states, and by state.

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