John 15:13“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Last Thursday’s ISIS suicide bomber attack at Kabul’s airport murdered 13 of our beloved soldiers, ages 20-31 – GenZ’ers and Millennials – who have given their lives in protecting our freedom and defending innocent civilians trying to evacuate Afghanistan as United States turns the country over to terrorists.
In our verse this week, Jesus was speaking to His disciples just before explaining that the world will hate them because they hate Him: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). The Taliban and ISIS hate Christianity. They have shown us the depths of their hatred, blowing up one of their own to murder our finest, bravest men and women. But this is not who we are.
Howard Wasdin, former member of Seal Team 6 and author of “The Last Rescue: How Faith and Love Saved a Navy Seal Sniper”, explains what our verse this week, John 15:13, means in a recent interview with The Blaze: “Many who serve have a strong sense of love of country and countrymen. ‘Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for a friend.’ For those who have not been in harm’s way, perhaps it is just words. To the veteran it is a never-ending reminder of “why” we undertake military service.”
Below are the names of our 13 heroes who died at the Kabul airport. As you look at their photos, and the photo of some of our heroes who survived, what beautiful varieties in skin color, ethnicity and gender.
Seems obvious that our military’s love for one another, and the Afghan civilians, transcends hatred.
1) Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts; 2) Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California; 3) Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah; 4) Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California; 5) Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska; 6) Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana; 7) Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas; 8) Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri; 9) Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming; 10) Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California; 11) Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California; 12) Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio; 13) Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.
The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #464