From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Monday, January 10, 2011

What the World Really Needs is More Vikings

Yet again this morning, I find that another young Danish Marine has fallen in Afghanistan. His name I cannot yet find, but I will know it when it is made public, and I will record it in order that I might remember it always. I have made friends with two young Danish Warriors, who are twins, on Facebook. They were born just ten days before my own twin boys. So immediately they drew my notice as they posted on military sites. Educated at the Naval Academy in the States, they are really quiet remarkable men. Daily they inspire me; the phrase “uncommon valor” comes to mind. Never do they fear or mince words for the sake of political correctness or at the cost of truth. The deeds of their daily lives are frankly recorded on Facebook in words and pictures which clinch my heart and soul, and with the two attributes that most readily identify extraordinary men, confidence in following the harder right at all cost, and humility before the Living God. Our world needs such men desperately.

I have always enjoyed history, the explorations of other countries, and coming to know the people who inhabit them. As I have followed the Sorensen men, I have learned much of their homeland, Denmark, and its’ people. My curiosity has been stirred not only by their lives, but by the words they quote of their political leaders and their royalty. It is in my own life rare to encounter young people of my country with such obvious loyalty and trust toward our government and leadership. When the citizens of a country, of any age, quote boldly their current leadership, with obvious assurance, it is indeed to be envied.

Because of my initial note of Denmark’s commitment to the War on Terror and its’ forthright recognition of the true extent of threat to the world, I first found current statistics concerning the fighting and support services which Denmark has committed. Thirty-eight Danish troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Denmark joined the Coalition in 2002, another suffered a heart attack and died, and sadly another committed suicide. War is such a painful endeavor, and extracts its’ price in many ways. Currently approximately 700 troops are serving in the NATO-led forces, most of them in Helmand Province. Of course at the end of any given day, those numbers can change due to another “ultimate sacrifice” for liberty.

As I have begun to research Denmark, the country, and its’ ancient culture and people, my fascination has grown.
I’m not going to make it easy for the reader to glimpse this beautiful country and know of it history and virtues, other than producing magnificent sons and daughters, but hope to inspire in the reader their own curiosity for all things Denmark. I will say of Queen Margrethe II, what a stunning and wise woman at age 70, no wonder the Sorensens admire and respect her so. Instead, I will offer to you a link to Denmark’s official web site: http://www.denmark.dk/en/Denmark.htmu

The news reported that the Soldier who was mortally wounded, was on patrol Sunday, four miles northeast of the town of Gereshk, in Helmand Province, when he fell to the “cowards weapon,” to quote Buzzy, an IED. Evacuated by helicopter he was declared dead upon arrival at the field hospital in Camp Bastion. I can assure the reader, valiant efforts were made to save the man. This morning as I read the notice posted by Buzzy, my heart clinched once again in my own pain at the loss of this young man, and the knowledge that in reality, he had stood between me and mine and a vicious and soulless enemy until the end. What a debt we owe these men and women, how diligently we must attempt restitution, and so I offered to Buzzy and Rolfe, their countrymen, and the Fallen Warrior’s family, words from the Father, and the prayers of my heart before the Lord. I have copied and pasted below those words to share with a larger audience in order to do what I can to pay tribute to the Viking Warriors whose Nation Anthem title translates into English, “There is a Lovely Land.” Those words follow:

A friend recently posted a verse I am very familiar with, but had not read in a while. It reminded me that even in my deepest despair, God is extending "lovingkindness and compassion." I have but to embrace it. May this family and all the families around the world who have given their sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, and national patriots embrace this word of comfort from the Lord. "This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." Lam. 3:21-23. As always my tears join those of your countrymen, the world, and his family.

To the Coalition Forces, and the Viking Warriors in particular, I can never fully understand the bond you share, but always David's cry to the heavens at the loss of Jonathan and King Saul, whom he fought beside in so many battles, and loved "like a brother," "iron sharpening iron," comes to my mind. David cried out in II Samuel the first chapter in grief and sorrow. Some of his words so directly apply to this Warrior Viking. "From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions." In verse 25, David cries out in anguish, "How the mighty are fallen in the midst of the battle."

Father God, let us never forget this man's valor and sacrifice. I will remember his name, record it, as I do each name, tell my children and their children. Lord, it seems to me I read so often here of the loss of another Danish Warrior. ... I fear for the hearts of those who fight on Lord God. Empower them Father, lest they grow weary in war, and their hearts falter. Protect them, shield them, from the weapons of this world, and from the weapons of the unseen world, where Father God the forces of good and evil do battle for the souls of mankind. Without the freedom these men and women are dying for, spreading Your message of love and peace becomes so much more difficult. This man has died with honor not just for this day and age, but for the days, ages, and people to come.

Bear him home Father God to his just reward, from this world his light fades, may it shine brightly in Your presence.