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The Men of Iron Minute

by Chad Zueck | Director of Content Creation

Foxhole Friends


Stories between men teeter between truth and fable, and a campfire on a cool night is a perfect backdrop. Stories don’t always have happy endings, but they are the connective tissue between men. Men are shaped by the stories shared and the residue they leave behind.

A while back, I heard one such story.

A firefight broke out during WW1 in a hail of bullets. Soldiers took shrapnel and lead through the teeth of vengeance. Soldiers dropped right and left; the smell of death never left the senses. Soldiers grappled for advantage and ammunition as a hail of bullets rained down hell’s torment. The insignia of the sleeve played a little part in this life and death struggle that day. Fellow soldiers become friends, and friends become brothers. Bonded by grit and gunpowder, the men made their mark on the enemy, and the enemy took their toll.

Horror lit up the sky as a soldier watched his lifelong friend take a bullet to the chest. This brave soldier lay lifeless on the battlefield, and his friend lay lifeless, watching it unfold. The fold of the soldier’s uniform showed a letter received from home, and the dread of future conversations was drowned out by the sound of bullets hitting beneath his feet. The wounded friend lay exposed and alone in the middle ground between the trench of friendlies and the enemy while the other friend stirs to action. He asks his Lieutenant if he can go get his friend, and the Lieutenant responds with, “You can if you want, but it’s a waste of time. He’s dead.” The Lieutenant continued, “I think it’s a waste of time, and it might kill you too. You would be throwing your life away.” The emboldened soldier didn’t listen and crossed over the trench to the open. As rounds pierced the air around him, he finally reached his friend. He knelt and thrust his mortally wounded friend onto his shoulders. He ran back to the Lieutenant, feeling the effects of the 8mm round that pierced his calf.

With a cynical tone, the Lieutenant said, “Your friend is dead, and now, you are wounded.”

“It was worth it, though, sir,” said the soldier. “What do you mean; worth it?” responded the Lieutenant. “Your friend is dead.” “Yes, Sir” the soldier answered. “But it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive, and I had the satisfaction of hearing him saying, “Jim…, I knew you’d come.”

 

When you fall, who will come for you?

If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:10, NIV84[1]

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13, NIV84[2]

 

Be a friend.

Find friends.

Be a better man.

 

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[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Ec 4:10.

[2] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Jn 15:13.