Dragons and Monsters By Alan WimbishAlan 2

To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” – George Washington. My father served in the Navy during World War II. I have always admired him for his service to our country. When I was younger, I would ask him about his service, but he would only talk certain things that he saw during the war. Most of it, he never talked about. As a child, I wanted to hear all about it, but it wasn’t until I had children of my own that I began to see why my dad never talked about his service very much. He hoped his children never had to go through that horror. I get it now. I have met a lot of veterans in my forty years. Worked with them, ate with them, etc. They come from different backgrounds, different socio-economic levels, different races, but there is one thing they all have in common; they don’t like to talk much about what they have experienced in war. I believe it was General William Tecumseh Sherman who said, “…war is hell.” He was right. My father told me where he was the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese; December 7, 1941. He was fourteen years old. He and a friend had made a make-shift canoe and they were rowing down a Crabtree Creek in Raleigh, NC where he grew up. They had just come back to the shore and were dragging the canoe up the bank when another one of their friends came running up to them screaming, “The Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor!” My dad remembers his friend looking at him and saying, “My brother is stationed at Pearl Harbor.” Before my dad turned seventeen, he walked down to the Federal Courthouse on Fayetteville St in Raleigh and enlisted in the US Navy. I asked him one time, “Dad, why did you enlist?” and he said to me, “It’s what every man did. If you could serve, you signed up. There was no question, you just did it.” The country needed him and millions of other young men just like him. There was a real enemy that threatened this country. For so long, those great bodies of water that lie on either side of our country, kept us from our enemies, but now our enemy has learned how to cross those oceans. My father’s generation understood that there is a real enemy out there and in order to protect our freedoms, to ensure peace for future generations, we must prepare for war. War is a terrible thing, but it will happen. Monsters will come from all corners of the world and when the boogie man knocks on this country’s door, who will answer it and how big will the gun be that fires back? I’ll tell you who it will be. It will be the incomparable men and women of the US military. They will fight with the best equipment, and rely on the best training that this world has ever seen. When our military strikes the enemy- the world- takes notice. They walk softly and carry a big stick. They do all of this while we sleep peacefully in our beds at night. They die in battles while we eat dinner and tell stories around the dinner table. And while we play with our kids, watch them grow up, walk them down the aisle, see them graduate…….their families wonder if they will come back from whatever dragon they had to go slay. The ones that do make it back, well, they may never talk about that dragon, but you can see it if you look closely. That far off stare, that tear stained cheek, don’t worry; just reliving the fight the day they slew the dragon. The Bible tells us in Exodus 15:3, “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” It also tells us that, “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,” Rev 20:2. One day there will be an end to war. Until then, we cannot stick our heads in the sand and hope all of the bad people just go away. We must prepare for war in order to preserve our peace.

Alan Wimbish

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