I had been out of the military for some years having served in the US Air Force for 11 years, 7 months and a few days. My husband and I were interim pastors at the Augsburg Christian Serviceman’s Center in Augsburg, Germany. It was a pastoral assignment that was only supposed to last for 3 months, but God had other plans and it lasted for 3 years. In our congregation there were mostly military families. My husband was also still on active duty.
During that time, you knew you were on a military post when you went to the movie, they played the national anthem before it started and everyone in the place stood up! You knew that you were on a military installation when at 5:00 pm music started that could be heard from a major intercom; cars stopped, soldiers in uniform would exit their vehicles, turn in the direction of the flag and salute. The military was our life and influenced everything that we did.
While there, for a reason that I cannot remember, I had the occasion to spend the night at the home of one of our families. The mother was active-duty military at the time. Well, when we went to bed that night, I had no idea what I would encounter the next morning. I was all comfy, had slept all night and suddenly, I could feel my body reacting to something that took my mind a few minutes to figure out. The sound of reveille suddenly filled the room. The sound of that trumpet was loud and long! Before I knew it, I had jumped out of the bed and was standing at attention! The next thing I heard was laughter! You see it was an alarm clock! Now who in their right mind would have a clock that had an alarm that played reveille? I quickly assessed the situation and laughed at myself! Once an airman, always an airman!
I thank God for the years that I served my country. I gained skills and disciplines that will be with me for the rest of my life. I just did not realize how deep some of them were ingrained. Can I get a witness?