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Patriotic Story

Steven J. Newton

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This Fiction account is part of my “Old Sergeant” Series and is meant to express a patriotic point or insight.

Several men from the old sergeants' platoon had just returned from Sunday's services and were sitting around discussing religion. The conversation turned to the old sergeant and most agreed that they had never seen him attend any religious service. The men pondered the religious beliefs of the sergeant but were far too afraid to approach him on the subject.

The fighting in and around Baghdad had fallen into a lull and over the next few weeks the subject of religion and the old sergeant came up many times. Finally the subject came up within hearing of the sergeant and he walked over to a group of his men sitting around on the sand, several of them having a smoke.

“So what are you idiots discussing today?” “Global warming or how to screw up the simplest job?” “Uh, no Sarge. Actually we were discussing religion.” “Oh? The old sergeant inquired.” “Yeah, Sarge, one of the braver men spoke up. What do you think about religion?”

The sergeant eyes glazed over as if he was lost in thought. Several seconds past with the sergeant somewhere else. Then he opened his shirt and took out a book. “Here. A librarian named Ruth gave this to me many years ago. You guys can keep this. I know most of it by heart” He tossed the book on the ground and slowly walked away.

As his men gathered around they picked up the book that turned out to be an old tattered and well used Bible. Square in the middle of the Bible was a hole just about the size of an AK-47 round. As they looked through the Bible they found that the round had penetrated exactly to one verse: The 23rd Psalm.

I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: though anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Note... I hope this Fiction account has impacted your sense of patriotism in some respect.  And any resemblance to a person living or dead is coincidental and unintentional.

Steven J. Newton
Copyright 2004

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