Unlike the years of the 'Nam era when some in the public spit upon our servicemen and women, today the troops receive the honor due them. The congregation of the Easton United Methodist Church faithfully prays for those in harm's way. Long about this time every year I feel impressed to request prayer for the troops. Specifically, I request prayer for a special group: The football squad of the Naval Academy. Usually I wait to make this request until the Army-Navy game, which is still three weeks away. Yes, when I ask prayer for Navy in the Army-Navy game there will be grousing from former dogface soldiers. What can I say? If those guys were smart they would have joined the Navy, huh? Go Navy!
Next Saturday, at noon, on Nov. 15, Navy faces my 3rd least favorite team. Notre Dame. The first and second least favorite teams, just for the record, are Army and that "team from up north", Michigan to you non-buckeyes. Those "so-called" Fighting Irish are having a bad year with a fairly new coach. Perhaps, just perhaps, Navy can cause further frustration and "stand Navy down the field, Anchors Aweigh" again just like last year. Go Navy!
Seven years ago when Army last beat Navy, my children took me to the game in Philadelphia as a 70th birthday present. Navy lost and I am somewhat responsible. That was right after 9-11 and security was tight. My son, Todd, said "Dad I'm not taking my pocket knife, are you taking yours?" He may have been trying to tell me something? I reminded him that I've carried a pocket knife since I was a preteen, that it is of legal size and I feel naked and off balance if it is not anchored in my right pocket. Everybody and every thing was searched at the gate. When the guard saw my lovely Case skinning knife he said "Mister, you may be going to the game but that knife isn't". Like the ignorant WV hillbilly that I am at heart, I said, "well, officer, would you hang on to it for me"? He said "No, when the president, like the president of the USA, leaves I'm out of here". What the hey, I just took a little walk with my knive and came back without it. I picked it up again when the game was over. Go Navy!
You know what happened? Without this old sailor's knife being in his right pocket where it belongs, Navy lost the game. Now you may not believe this but in the last six years I've had that knife right where it belongs and Navy has won every game. Neither team had ever won six straight games! You can bet I'll have my knife in my pocket this year when Navy makes it number seven! Go Navy!
I'll watch the Army-Navy game, as always, with my lovely daughter Kimberly. I raised her right. She is so pro Navy that she married a guy whose Godfather and namesake was the Athletic Director at Annapolis for 25 years. I'm sure that's why she married him! (His namesake is "the" Jack Linguel whose story was told in the movie We Are Marshall). Kimberly once sang at the Annapolis Chapel. It was a wedding so I don't think she sang "Anchors Aweigh". Go Navy!
Remember, we owe it to our service personnel to pray for them. Be specific. Pray for the midshipmen. Oh, and have I said Go Navy!
Phillippians 3:14: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Press on Navy!