On this Memorial Day, I’d like to pause to remember those who served our country that were lost — and those who were almost lost.

Like David Rogers.

Photo via http://gotoplaces.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/combat-wounded-veterans-of-south-mississippi/

I had the privilege of teaching David at Cornerstone Christian Academy. Ancient history. Maybe medieval, too. No doubt literature and writing at some point over those years. I don’t recall exactly. I’m pretty sure his was the first class with which I shared In, But Not Of.

After David graduated, he drifted. Like many young adults — including myself at that age — he chose to follow his own spiritual path. He also chose to serve his country in the Armed Forces.

While stationed in Germany, David’s vehicle collided with another in a head-on collision that nearly took his life. Some doctors believed that for brief moments — technically — it did.

The medical team concluded that David likely wouldn’t make it. They predicted he would never walk again. The experts claimed he certainly would never talk.

I saw David again yesterday very much alive in — of all places — church. His mother shared how God used the intense trauma to restore David’s relationship with his Creator. Regardless of the state of his physical recovery, his spiritual one is alive and well. But that’s not all that’s healing.

Yesterday, I saw David get up from his wheelchair and walk.

During the singing of praises, one classic song resonated with me:

I will sing a song of my redeemer, with his blood he purchased me … of His triumphant power I’ll tell.

As the saints joined together in the triumphant chorus, the miraculous sound of a tambourine joined in. Not just any tambourine. It was David’s way of joining us to tell of God’s triumphant power.

Speech therapy is coming next thanks to the wonders of technology — and his infinitely patient and compassionate family. Until God restores his speech, David uses text to speak. He made me pose for a photo to post to Facebook. I can’t wait to see it!

You can follow David’s journey on Facebook here. Tell him Mr. Blankschaen sent you. Hopefully he’s forgiven me for that one grade on his history project.

But don’t stop there. Remember the many veterans who live with the effects of injuries received while in service of our great nation. Then put some money where your heart is. Like this cause that the Rogers family endorses:

  • The Boot Campaign helps you show your appreciation for American troops, raise awareness of the challenges they face when they return home, and donate funds to charities that support their transition home.

That’s a good start to remember the Davids this Memorial Day. As we rightly pause to respect those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, let’s not forget those who live with ongoing challenges. Remember them — and their families — in prayer today and every day.

What ways have you and your family found to remember those who have served our great nation? Leave a comment to share your own stories of recovery and redemption.

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