Erasing Regret

I envy those who honestly say they live with no regrets. I am not numbered among them, and as I enter my sunset years I am resolved to remove or rectify as many as possible. One of those regrets is the absence of military service. Nearing high school graduation in 1978, I went with a group of young men to Beaumont, Texas and took the US Army entrance exams for enlistment upon graduation. My test results were strong and combined with the fact I was graduating number eight in my senior class, the Army recruiters offered to assist me in entering the United States Military Academy at West Point. Having always dreamed of serving in the United States Army like my father, the prospect thrilled me; however, I sought counsel from some respected individuals and they steered me toward a different tack. I chose the college route, embarking on a forty-plus year journey of pastoral ministry, missionary service, and academic settings, leaving no room for military service. A year ago, I decided to remove this major regret and accepted a commission as an officer and chaplain in the Texas State Guard, a branch of the Texas Military Department along with the Texas Army Guard and Texas Air Guard. I find each step forward in my military training and chaplaincy ministry extremely rewarding, a lingering remorse erased by the grace of God and support of my wife. My advice is carefully examine your regrets and prayerfully act to erase as many as possible while you can.

CH (CPT) Dane Fowlkes

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