Saying Goodbye To A Soldier


The hardest thing I’ve had to cope with being a pastor in a military town is saying goodbye to a soldier. Whether that is through death or through PCS (Permanent Change of Station). It’s never easy having a relationship severed. Even if you’re friends on Facebook and still can connect, it’s just never the same.

Joe is my neighbor. I saw him move in and one day he was sitting on the tailgate of his truck so I yelled over to ask how he was doing. We talked for a couple of hours that day. We began a closer relationship when he invited my family over for a BBQ with his squad. That was a fun night for sure and great food as well.

Since then, we have talked about all sorts of things. Although I never got him to come to church (he likes his Sunday’s for fishing) we did talk about God, religion and  life in general. Joe has been one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. Many of afternoons we sat in the rockers on my front porch and shot the breeze. That is unforgettable and I’ll definitely miss Joe.

Unfortunately, I have to grip reality as it is. This is the Army. Never in one place too long. I hope the fishing is good in GA. I know he’ll be deploying late this year which is going to be hard on his three young kids.

So if you’re in the Army reading this, my best wishes to you. Thank you for serving this country. Thank you for the dedication you give to keep this country safe. And thank you for living such a messed up crazy adventurous life. Hooah!!!!

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Associate Pastor of GraceLife Church, author of Faith Debugged, musician and baseball enthusiast

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