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Commentary Search

May Chaplain's Reflections

  • Published
  • By Chaplain, Lt. Col. Brian Bohlman
  • 169th Fighter Wing

“Remembering the Price of Freedom”
May 2017 Chaplain Reflection
Lt Col Brian Bohlman

“From these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

President Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address (Nov 19, 1863)

During the height of the troop surge during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I deployed to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where I cared for the emotional and spiritual needs of thousands of wounded warriors fresh off the battle field. It was a very challenging environment which reminded me daily of the true price of freedom.

During my tour of duty, I had an opportunity to travel to nearby Luxembourg to visit the American Cemetery and Memorial. Spread out across 50 acres near a beautiful wooded area, this hallowed ground became the final resting place for 5,076 of our military dead, many who lost their lives in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.

As I walked past row after row of fallen American heroes, I stopped when I came to the cross at the grave of a soldier from South Carolina. Private 1st Class William C. Faile of the 54th Infantry Battalion, 10th Army Division died on March 1, 1945. After I bowed my head to offer a prayer for this soldier’s sacrifice and for his living relatives, I felt compelled to leave a dog tag on his cross engraved with John 15:13. “Greater love has no one than this, that they lay down their life for their friends.”

These words of Christ are very true of this present generation of warriors. As you prepare for Memorial Day at the end of this month, please remember that freedom is never free. Remember the great sacrifices of our men and women serving at home and abroad. Especially remember the families of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The month of May promises to be very busy for all of us with our S.C. Guard Air & Ground Expo followed by Mother’s Day, children finishing school, and ending with the Memorial Day observance. As guardsmen, we are constantly being pulled in different directions with our civilian employer, family and service obligation. Sacrifice has always been a prerequisite to military service and I want to thank you and your families for the ongoing sacrifices each of you make as a Swamp Fox!


May 19-21 in Lake Murray/Lexington, S.C.
September 22-24 in Hilton Head, S.C.

For more info, call the Chaplains Office at 803-647-8265 or Terry DeLille at 803-647-8089.
Please email Terry DeLille to register: