At once I am exceptionally proud and amazed but deeply saddened for a young man who has just become my hero. My brother in law, whom we will refer to simply as J, has just been released from Officer’s Candidate School for one of the branches of military service. Let me step back and give you some background on this young fellow. I met him about 17 years ago, when he was around 5 or so. His parents had gotten a divorce and he was living with his dad, the man who became my father in law, an exceptional example of a godly, honest man himself so there was no surprise when J turned out to be the solid young gentleman he has become. J grew up playing sports, and doing well in school. As a collegian he did very well and unlike his selfish university peers J spent his summers working in a camp facility with special needs youth, a selfless act regardless of your age. There is no question he is an outstanding young man by anyone’s account, mine included. He’s always been respectful, polite and a joy to be around. He had worked hard to become one of the 2 state candidates to be allowed into this OCS program. Unfortunately, during his time in OCS he had been reported by someone for reading the Bible and sharing his beliefs with some other candidates. As he approached graduation, only three days away, he was in the top five of his class. During some form of verbal test he answered an officer’s question indicating that he would deal with adversity first by consulting the Word of God i.e. his faith followed by consulting other like minded officers and so on. Apparently this mention of his faith was unacceptable. His honest and God centric answer was not received well and he was summarily discharged. First of all I have to say that I know he is hurt by this as he has spent much of his life preparing to follow his father and grandfather into the service. His heart must be broken and I feel for him. However at the same time I am so very proud of him for standing up for his beliefs and for God Almighty. I could only hope that I would have that much conviction and courage to face down what I want and stand up for the Lord my God as he did. There simply are no words to express how proud I am of J. I know his father is proud of him and stands behind him as J has done the right thing. I am so excited for him, even though he didn’t get the career he was so focused on, and hoping for, because I know God has a plan for Him. Like Abraham who God sent up the mountain to sacrifice Issac, J has obeyed God and like Abraham I suspect God will reward his allegiance with His blessings. J, I know you’re hurt and my heart hurts for you and what happened, but I am so very proud of you and feel honored to know you. Without question, you’re my new hero. God bless you, pal you’re an amazing man and the service will be much diminished without you.