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May 28, 2022 12:06 pm
I asked Chaplain (Lt. Colonel) Michael Frazier, US Army, Ret. to join me for this special Memorial Day edition of Hope for the Caregiver. As the son of a navy chaplain myself, I remain deeply moved by the rich history of Chaplains in the armed forces of the United States. In the opening monologue, I discuss a Memorial moment in scripture that continues to stir my heart, and then Chaplain Frazier shares insights, history, and poignant experiences from his military career. I encourage you to share this powerful episode with as many as you can. www.hopeforthecaregiver.com
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This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver were so glad that you with this, if you will be a part of the program good hope for the caregiver.com hope for the caregiver.com there's little form, but there that you can fill out to be a comment question whatever's on your heart. Just let me know it'll come directly to me and would be glad to talk about this issue on the program and if you must even call you from the program will be glad to do that as well. Hope for the caregiver that, in light of their look around at all the things we offer caregivers. The podcast is free. We are the largest podcast for family caregivers out there and hope you'll take advantage of that lot of stuff that you can listen to. You can search by subject whatever your facing your struggling with changes only covered in this at least the subject matter will be happy to cover even more if you want to suggest please let us know books, music, all kinds of things are out there and hope for the caregiver.com and we hope you'll take advantage of it. This is Memorial Day weekend and I wanted to bring a special focus on this holiday that is very much woven into the American DNA now it's the time were we stop and honor those who never took off the uniform so to speak, they they were either killed in combat or in-service succumbed to wounds from service related injuries, whether through, and another's, and use these were active-duty individuals who paid the ultimate price arm services Dave days when we honor those who are in active duty veteran stays when we honor those who hung up the uniform Memorial Day is the day we honor those who never took off the uniform and I have a special guest will be joining me here later on the program to talk about this in the great history of this why this is important to assist caregivers why this is important to us as Americans, but I want to start off with God's view of Memorial Day in Scripture.
And there's a particular passage. Some of you may have heard me talk about this before but it bears repeating. There's a one sentence one sentence that just jumped out at me ever had that in Scripture.
When you see just one sentence that just jumps at and for me it was in Matthew chapter 1 verse six and is the genealogy of Jesus is talking about all the history of these individuals who we all know very famous people simply don't know.
But it goes only back to Abraham.
The genealogy of Jesus through this and he gets to Jesse, the father of King David and this is David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife Uriah is the only individual mention in that genealogy that was, not blood related to Jesus and yet God saw fit to include him. Uriah in the most important genealogy ever recorded. Think about that.
Do you know what happened to you right David was supposed to be out in battle with the other kings in the spring when the Kings went out to battle it said it in go.
Sometimes rulers and political leaders abdicate their responsibilities and use their armies like puppets. I know we know nothing about that in this country right to sarcasm translate will of rescue and King David should've been out there.
He was oh, had he been in battle, sometimes the safest place to be is in battle because that's where he should've been, but he was in a cell. Uriah's wife, Bathsheba. She was bathing and he said I'm King one and he summoned her to the palace a lot of forethought. He had to act on this. You don't just jump off this platform. He acted on it. Plaintiff that somebody after she came up there.
We got a break so Uriah called was home from the battlefield and he wanted to go home and sleep with his wife so that he would get her pregnant and that he could be scot-free. Uriah wouldn't do it was an amazing soldier, even though week.
The king got them drunk. He slept outside his door on the floor and David then went to the horrific decision of sending a note to the general say put Uriah in the heat of the battle, but them up and eat it. Uriah was killed and David Mary Bathsheba.he got away with Scripture says that God saw this, he was not pleased and you know the rest the story what happened. Nathan the prophet comes to David and says that famous Landauer the man and if you don't know it. Go back and take a look at it, read it in just spent some time in first and second Samuel, you'll see how a lot of things unfolded and how a lot of it back to this particular event. I will talk about your right he never took off the uniform faithfully served. Even though he's King did a very wicked thing to several very wicked things and plotted and manipulated. We have a lot of servicemen and women right now who often times are at the mercy of a political leader who may not have their best interest in mind and they they serve because that's what soldiers do they serve that I've had the privilege of knowing a lot of military personnel come from a military family and duty owner country. These are things that mean something even when the king even when the ruler forgets or disregards or does he care the God saw this, and God did not forget and here we are in the genealogy of Jesus that Matthew is writing under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit and God saw fit to include this man's name, God, and forget that I would suggest to you and say to you based on the authority of Scripture that I see he doesn't forget anything. He doesn't get anything that you go through. He sees the injustices this week is been filled with I don't know how this works out.
I really don't. I don't know how his economy works. When you see such great sorrow and such injustice in such pain and such suffering such wickedness and such evil. I don't understand a lot of these things that how God is going to work through this, but I do know that I'm encouraged with the Scriptures like this that he doesn't forget. It is not to be on our timeframe and I can be certain the way we want it done, but he works through all things we can trust because he has saved us from a far greater evil than anything we could possibly wrap our minds around these redeeming all of these things and we have a story like this with Uriah who was so poorly treated, even though we serve faithfully breaks her heart will receive what we saw in Texas hearts are just ripped apart when we see the brokenness of this world. It's very difficult for us to wrap our minds around how God can weave anything good at this, but I will tell you that he does. And maybe this Memorial Day will be a time for us to come together because United respect and recognizing that we do serve a God that is sovereign over all of these things even particularly special when the scene income because the cross shows his answer to that quality dispute Roseburg.
This is hope for the caregiver will be right back in and caregiver is a little off with that.
When my father long time Navy chaplain and that him remains very important to him and it's a beautiful him that's that's an arrangement that Hans Zimmer famous movie composer did that for a movie that some of you may have seen called Crimson Tide submarine with Denzel Washington and it was a it was tough seeing and he did that him as one of the best versions of that him I've ever heard, recorded, and so I'm very grateful to be able to play that here. Speaking of chaplains I wanted to introduce to you a friend of mine that I had on for the show today for Memorial Day and his name is chaplain is retired Lieut. Col. Michael Frazier and we been longtime friends and I think think there's not a week that goes by that he and I don't talk and have lengthy conversations and I felt like it would be appropriate to have him come and share his thoughts, his insides, his heart and his journey as a chaplain. He also serves as a caregiver.
He's got he's please run the gamut with it. And so it also at one of things I'm concerned about in our country is that we've lost a sense of history we've lost our identity were so busy living in this fast thickness that we have that we've lost the. The strength of our history that helps us understand how we got here.
Winston Churchill used to say the further you look back the further forward you can see, and we have an entire generation. Now the doesn't want to look back.
They want to just erase and destroy your breakdown and so today we pause for a time to just reflect on something so Michael I appreciate you being here with us today. If you if you pardon me, I won't call you Lieut. Col. or chaplain are destroyed by Michael that I will welcome welcome to this program. This is a special memorial day event and our country is reeling from more tragedy, more heartbreak and but before we get into a lot of these things can you give us a little background on this holiday why it's important to us nationally what it significant that was the significance of it and as an Army chaplain some of your insights as well. They tell born of the conflict of Civil War, when states that had most of the people who were volunteers were scripted the state to receiving back so many more dad and originally it wasn't a national holiday, but something that was recognized by the state, then fell celebrated in various ways, it was proclaimed by Gen. and the Union army on May 1868 to honor the dead in a special way called a national declaration day and it was that both sides of North and South. In that conflict participated in the national declaration. Day to honor those who had fallen and were buried at Arlington national Cemetery and they would decorate the headstone with banners, colorful banners and flowers and as the years rolled by, that became a national remembrance and in 1971 it was officially recognized by the 98 Congress to be observed in all the state and in December 2000, but privately that it took this long for it to be recognized in this way to add that American would pause on that day. The last Monday in May at 3 PM. Probably not many of us recognize that it was at 3 PM that Americans were asked to Paul's voluntarily and individually for a moment of silence and respect and remembrance of all those who have given their lives and never came back from the battlefield rejoining family and then with the listing of caps. So that's how Memorial Day began to be celebrated as a holiday and for most of it becoming three or four day weekend or a military we usually typically would have the Friday before as a day off from our duty and then returned to duty after Memorial Day, Tuesday follow. Well, it's become a you know the fish lots of summer. We have racecars if cookouts know they can stuff but it is rare that we find the collective conscience of our country. Now united in languages written were united in anything, we may have to change your name from the United States to the questionable states of America because were not united but we we we owe it to these who have lost their lives in battle and those who succumb to wounds he sustained in battle. Like I said in the first block it. This is a holiday for those who made a Memorial Day event for those who never took off the uniform and I as a chaplain and I've heard the stories from my father, where he would have to go during Vietnam and and go to people's homes and let them know that I love one was followed and it was very difficult assignment for him as you as you know, you're one of the people that have done this and I want I want to give you a chance to share that and just talk about that in your own journey and have if we run up against the break will continue it. After the bottom of the hour, but I want you to take us back to what that was like for you as it is a young chaplain going on. Those kinds of assignments okay my walk into the Army chaplain. The came after.
Time in life at after Bible college medic theology and my first pastorate in Petersburg, Kenya, and it was there in Virginia that I became a reserve chaplain and eventually entered into active duty because I felt I needed that little bit more experience on what was required of me as a chaplain because I have been in civilian ministry and it was that age almost 39 that I entered into military ministry the years prior to that was all civilian, so it was quite a baptism so to speak, by experience in fire become a military chaplain and soon after I entered my first duty station at Port Irvine, California in the deserts north of Barstow.
I was assigned the lead off some interesting moment to be with a notification team which actually the team consisted of an NCO and myself a noncommissioned officer and myself to notify a family member of the soldier in this case it was the husband and these are things that weren't so much taught at the chaplain school, but they were talked about because each one is different so it is much like what you would give to people in your own congregations lost loved ones military. It has a little bit more about significant in that it represents the notification represents the fee on, but the comfort and grief that the military itself in terms of the secretary of the Army of the Sec. of the Navy or the Air Force Marine comment on the Marines, etc. to express their sorrow for the loss of that family members loved one. So it's a it's a national kind of notification as well as a deeply personal notification sounds like it feels like the entire weight of the military is there with you when you drive up all yeah and now it feels like first and and and dad did express some of the same things we didn't get to go to a quick break here. I don't want to interrupt too much and I want you to give us some history on the chaplaincy here that is very important in the next segment.
This is the Col. retired Michael Fraser, chaplain the chaplain comes before even the right and he's joining us for the special Memorial Day show that I wanted to be able to to bring some of these things for attention, just pause for a moment's Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver will be right back in his room and I thought that that arrangement was just spectacular play for this very special Memorial Day show that we're having here to talk about the history of our country. There are so many veterans and family members of veterans and family members of servicemen and women who were lost in battle and those who succumb to wounds sustained in battle that they were cared for the people in this audience, and so wanted to pause for a moment in talking with my longtime friend chaplain Lieut. Col. Michael Fraser were talking about the weight of the United States military. When they make a presentation when they when they have to go and notify the family that loved one has fallen in battle. My dad did this for many years when he was a young chaplain in the Navy and in in the Atlanta area and he share some of that with me over the years and it just difficult things, but it it it shaped who he was as a pastor and in this particular conversation you have with Michael. Michael what I wanted to ask you. The editing is just fast forward to the break. How did this shape you as a pastor as you went to these families and again like you said you had the full weight of the United States Army in the end, the people of the United States you don't metaphorically on your shoulders as you went and you made this notification and and how how did this shape you as a pastor my first experience what Rock Creek because they dictation was a determination by our government that no fallen soldier family would receive the news generically through the media are from any other source, but directly from the unit as closely as possible that this individual soldier are military personnel. What I find because they recognize the dignity of the individual and to me that gave me great honor that it wants to. I can about right. Because the greatest sacrifice that anyone could be asked to give that if our Lord and thought that greater love. One thing that they lay down their life for their friend, and I think of that way at as you said earlier, there are many things that divide. But one thing that unites is our common heritage. American we have fought wars from the American Revolution down to Afghanistan and I did account of the total war dead of all of our recorded amount American losses in all of our wars. They come to 1,264,289 individual lives of American given themselves for the defense of freedom and the joys of lipid fruits of happy living in a country that it be that we seek to be at peace with the world so the government recognized great sacrifice of what the people died to preserve and first engagement in a notification of the next of kin quite as a surprise to me. I did not know the individual soldier who had died, but you know for certain.
When the military staff car arrived at the family home.
They know if I chaplain walks out there bad needs, but the patient is to be made within 48 hours by statute, the Department of Defense set standards and that way they tried to ensure that the notification that a family member died in combat would not be heard by anybody else except by these notification officers. The vacation itself for the NCO are in the case of an officer who had defeat, they might send an officer with the chaplain. There is the script and it's to be read to the family member which describes the circumstances of the death of their loved one because the military seeks to allow them to know what were the circumstances by which their loved one to they won't come to they won't come to understand the details because the government recognized part of their very know how they got in the chaplain follows the staff officer who is responsible to read that notification and generally I would start with. I'm sorry for your loss. Of course, express my own personal sorrow with them that I as a military member to feel their loss because we serve one another, as it were brothers. So I try to make a personal connection with them and then to ask them about their spiritual life and so many of them have a spiritual background were able to connect that way.
Others have very little, but I try to reflect calls them to reflect upon the life that was given by God and that he was not unaware at the time that they tell and then offer a prayer and any assistance that I might be able to provide for the installation might be able to provide because the casually assistance office that every military installation are responsible for those personnel and their family members who have died from that installation. Having been assigned to that installation when they were so it's a very interesting and sobering moment for me is a moment of great privilege because I have the opportunity to pray with and for them to ask God's mercy and blessings of comfort to know that these servers member their servicemembers did not die in vain that they died for it because they gave over into even into the last measure.
When you get back into the staff car after such a hit back to the base. What was one of those rats like for you, what with those wrestling usually it at first and violent and it is the vacation officer who had to read the script to the family member something like boy that was tough or that was really hard core I've never done anything like that before. Because for most of their first time for the chaplain. Sadly something that the part of our duties that we regularly and ordinarily face them at the time of chaplain help me get through this because I just experiencing trauma myself so is often a time of ministering to vacation next to the next of kin to minister to them your pastoral duties don't stop when you leave the house yet it's it's very much a pastoral experience. Well, I know that there is a great history of the chaplaincy in the in the military and in the next block. If you don't mind, I'd like you to just unpack that little bit and you know I wanted something he mentioned that God solve this and in the first block I talked about Uriah and that's one of the most gripping sentences in Scripture to me is that Uriah was mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. He was a soldier who was faithful, who never took off the uniform. He fought faithfully did what he was told and he served faithfully and he was at the mercy of great wickedness that David did to him. And yet God saw fit to memorialize him in the greatest genealogy ever written, which is that of Jesus and and I thought that was such a case it caused me to pause when I read it to see how God remember this man, who fought in battle and died patriotic. The dispute arose.
This is hope for the caregiver will be him and him him him him that he is the Army's father's we went to the brink of the lesson Air Force which is also to use minister will we also did the Navy him earlier in the Marine were talking with chaplain Michael Frazier retired U.S. Army Lieut. Col. we're talking about the sacred and patriotic duty of notifying the next of kin which chaplains in the military have to do.
It is a like you said, a sacred and patriotic duty. I also wanted you to spend a little time in the brief. By the time we have left of the history of the chaplaincy because her something about the chaplaincy of the Army that people may not know, and I thought you might want to share that with us the war Congress recognized the ending of a chaplain Corps for the Army prior to the establishment of a United State Army and what the recognition that soldiers are going to need to have their First Amendment right of the freedom of religion protected recognized that they stood up, the U.S. Army chaplain. They predate any other combat organization take. I think that's tremendous and huge recognition of what we stand for the American when you said that the him master. Let me walk with the indeed the word of the that is played at Which probably anyone attended the military funeral recognizes that somber tuning of the bugle call What Originally have lyrics for the bugle call it was actually four lights out when the Union army.
It was a time for them to go to sleep because they generally didn't fight night so it was requested that the bugler playing a special tune for the following before nightfall, and the bugle call if, as we know it today became a reality, but it does have words which were not originally given the words were given by Daniel Butterfield and in the lines of the first and the last stand, Daniel Butterfield, I think captured for us. Our nation's dependence upon God, where he began in the first stanza day is dawning. Gone is the non-from the lakes, from the hills from the sky and then it finally ends with all is well, safely rent God. Likewise, in the last five he give thanks and praise for our days on and the stars in the sky as we go.
This we know God. That's the word. The official word and there are other verses that you can go look up when you look up words From a search engine, but these memorial services for the fallen soldiers servicemembers of our country the military to fight very well but they don't know how to comfort one another very well and that they look to their unit chaplain and just to give you an idea of what a memorial services like if it's on an installation usually a patriotic band piece would be played usually the sacred nature, usually in the chapel attribute given by the unit commander or other officers or other enlisted soldiers. But then the most dark thing about it, which just directed me when I heard it for the first time unit Sergeant Major called the role of these soldiers units. Maybe start with the fifth of the six soldier before the soldier that died in state the name of the soldiers very loudly and even announce the soldier specialist are Sgt. or Lieut. whatever the name was give their last name but the five and six folders that listed before they would say here Sergeant Major would go on for five or six people and they would say here Sergeant Major, and when the name of that soldier that died name is called, he would call the rank and the last name wait for response time he would call again this time giving the right end of first and last name of the soldier wait for a reply. No one gave it, and there was silence in the final time. The soldiers Frank the first the middle and the last name and then appalls for a reply.
Yet there is not, and after about 10 seconds in the vestibule of the chapel.
The trumpeter played taps is the most and yet even that any check can experience and have the privilege to conduct for the gave Kerala for for you and me and they will such as the privilege Memorial Day for so many of us who have served as chaplain to remember the apartment and those with whom we have observed and appreciated their own parents. I remember just not long ago I had the privilege in the honor to the memorial service of one of my wife's uncles. He had served in Vietnam and he got a bronze Star for his duty in Vietnam. It's not often that of military chaplain received a bronze star because it's usually given in combat, which he was admitted in a date station where the soldiers would come back to receive the immediate character having been wounded on the battlefield and the Vietnamese were selling their compound broke out of the bunker and went to help the medics as the soldiers were falling in them round then the bullets were flying and help the medics to bring the wounded back to the gate at his funeral service after he had retired and the Lord brought him to Glorieta H 85 think it was I the privilege of conducting that military can and one of those things was to recognize what he did in service in Vietnam and how it influenced my life military chaplain because he was the one me to leave the comfort and ministry and become military chaplain and there is great side be privileged to hear the 21 gun salute and the playing of taps in the folding of the flag and the presentation to whom I call my life if I limited them. There is no other kind of replication in civilian world at a funeral than a military memorial. There is none like and I'm thankful to God for having we are most grateful to you for sharing this today. I know that every list is to get their eyes right now and chaplain Lieut. Col. Michael Frazier, my longtime friend. This is a Memorial Day show that we wanted to do today to bring to our collective attention. The history of our country.
The rich tapestry that so many are unaware of so many are trying to wipe out today.
We wanted to pause for this. I wanted to in with a special performance of the national anthem, but my wife Gracie this is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver.
Thank you for joining us for special