Aout Enduring Word

Enduring Word is a site designed to highlight stories of "Bible" survival.  Share your memories of family bibles and the history they have seen.

Your Bible's Story!

If your Bible could talk.  Please read the true accounts below of how Bible's have been used and endured throughout history.  If you have your own account of what your Bible has seen, please share it with us.

My Father's Bible

Before being sent overseas to fight in World War II, my father was given a New Testament to take with him as he trudged across the African and European continents with the Army's Big Red One. He carried that Bible with him through such battles as Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. When he returned home and started his family, he tucked the Bible away with his other keepsakes from the conflict, and he kept his memories and his war possessions to himself. Many decades later, after meeting a young friend of mine who was about to be deployed to Iraq, my Dad sat for several hours and shared his personal stories from WWII with my friend. It was a special and fascinating time to hear of his adventures, fears, disappointments and horrors. There were several of us sitting around the table, but I think he was mostly talking to Kevin. As I look back, I suspect he was trying to share this brotherhood of combat concept with Kevin, and the rest of us were "unseen" spectators.

 

Several weeks later, just before Kevin was to be deployed, my Dad called me and asked me to meet him at a restaurant. He had something he wanted to give to Kevin before Kevin shipped out to Iraq.

 

I will now hand off to Kevin and he can finish the story.

 

As Vicki mentioned, I had the privilege of spending my Fourth of July weekend with one of America ’s heroes - Mr. Richard Torrey.  He regaled me with stories of storming the beaches of Normandy and fighting through impossible odds to ensure freedom for all those who could not fight for themselves.  As the eve of my first deployment approached, I was eager to learn whatever I could from this man hoping I could make my country half as proud of me as he had done many years earlier.

 

Days prior to my departure to join my infantry unit in Ft. Lewis Washington, I was visited by Vicki, the daughter of Richard.  She brought with her a small brown Bible that had been carried by Richard on the ships that brought him to Normandy and through some of the most intense fighting of WWII.  As Vicki handed the Bible to me, she told me that her father wanted me to carry this Bible with me as he had done some sixty years earlier.  Vicki told me that the Bible was carried in the left pocket of his uniform covering his heart, which is where I carried it at all times.

 

On December 23, 2004, I was involved in one of the deadliest suicide bombings of the Iraq war which took place at Camp Marez in Mosul, Iraq .  I was sitting in the “chow tent” with my company commander Cpt. Bill Jacobsen, his executive officer Lt. Caughlin, and my sniper partners Clint Gertson and Jay Pense.  While we were discussing over lunch the plans for a mission that was to take place the next day, a blinding flash of light was seen followed by an eerie silence which was quickly replaced by a deafening explosion.  I was blown out of my chair and onto the ground.  As I attempted to regain my bearings after the explosion, I observed Cpt. Jacobsen, who appeared to be injured, call out to the group and ask if everyone was alright.  The moment Cpt. Jacobsen realized that everyone was fine he passed out on the table.  

 

On that terrible day in December, I was placed in the horrible position of attempting to render aid to those that had been wounded in the suicide bombing.  The first person I treated was Cpt. Jacobsen.  Unable to find a visible wound, I began what my training had taught me to do.  I checked for a pulse but was unable to find one.  I immediately began giving mouth to mouth and chest compressions in order to keep him alive.   Cpt. Jacobsen did gain consciousness one last time and looked up at me.  Seeing his pain, I took off my uniform top and placed it under Cpt. Jacobsen head to try to make him more comfortable.  By that time the coat was covered in sweat and blood and was soon forgotten as we loaded Cpt. Jacobsen into a vehicle headed for the aid station. 

 

The coat and the Bible that was left in my pocket had not entered my thoughts until a few days after the horrific ordeal.  I felt terrible knowing that I had lost the Bible that had been entrusted to me by a fellow soldier that had served his country so heroically.  I had given up the thought of ever finding it again and tried to put it out of my mind.

 

Two weeks later, I was approached by a first sergeant from another company inquiring if anyone had lost a Bible in the tent bombing.  I quickly stated that it was mine and was amazed that it had found its way back to me.   (Normally when uniforms are stained with blood and hazardous materials, they are burned along with any items that may be inside.)  I don’t know what caused this First Sergeant to look inside the pockets of my jacket, but I was glad that he did. 

 

I carried that Bible next to my heart for the next 180 days of my tour.  It has been through multiple fire fights, IED’s, ambushes and over 250 sniper missions.  I was involved in many close calls and one in particular where a bullet ricochet off of my helmet leaving me intact and scared but very thankful to be alive. 

 

Do I think that this Bible has supernatural power???  No - but its history does remind me of my Heavenly Father’s ever watchful eye and protective hand.  It was an honor to carry this Bible, and I hope that its days of battle have come to an end.  If not, it will always bring me the comfort and knowledge that the Lord watches over his children through the most difficult and lonely times.