The 3rd United States Infantry Regiment has three active battalions, and is identified by its nickname, “The Old Guard.” The regiment is a major unit of the Military District of Washington (MDW) and is the oldest active duty regiment in the U.S. Army. Originally called the First American Regiment in 1784, its mission is “to conduct memorial affairs to honor fallen comrades and ceremonies and special events to represent the U.S. Army.”
Karen worked at Bethel Chapel in the children’s department for two years and was pretty good at her job. When she first started working there she was attracted to her boss, until she found out he was married. Then she did the appropriate thing and simply focused on her work. Her boss, Fred, learned that she was a single mom and he and his wife did their best to help her out. At some point in the process of helping, he became attracted to Karen. Soon, everyone in the office noticed Fred was spending a lot of time with her. Gradually she grew embarrassed by his increasing attention. He continuously texted her, often walked her to her car after work, and was overly aggressive about finding out about her personal life. Though the church office was filled with gossip about Fred and Karen, no one confronted Fred.
1 Kings 2:2,3—“As for me, I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong and be courageous like a man, and keep your obligation to the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statues, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn, and so that the LORD will carry out His promise that He made to me: ‘If your sons are careful to walk faithfully before Me with their whole mind and heart, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’”
Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen in Gamla Stan (the old town). The first building was a fortress with a tower built in the 13thcentury by Birger Jarl to defend Lake Malaren. Ever since the early 16th century, the palace has been guarded by members of the Swedish Armed Forces. Several times a week a special changing of the guard is observed by the public.
Imagine being told you are headed to Iraq and you may not see your family for a year. You are trained with specific skills and given an important mission. Once you get past the emotional struggle of leaving your family you focus in on the task ahead of you. But everything changes. Instead of deploying overseas your unit ends up at Fort Lewis and you and your fellow combat engineers are assigned to work as gate guards for the installation. Meet SSG Osborne! Such was the fate he and his fellow National Guardsmen from Oregon encountered.
Under the Keene Road overpass, he drove his dusty white Taurus. The yellow line on his left stretched endlessly. At mile marker 268, four crop dusters flew into view, their lazy formation zooming to the south. Green fields smelled of spring, even the headless metal torsos holding miles of telephone wires seemed alive.
On Oct. 9, 2001, Old Guard 1st Sergeant Robert Watson stood rigidly at attention ready to receive a freshly folded American flag from the casket of a soldier killed by the September 11 attack on the Pentagon. But as a member of the prestigious detail moved to hand Old Glory to Watson, he refused to receive it. A small sliver of white was visible in the triangular fold. Only the blue and white stars should have shown. With his hand he could have covered the mistake and few if any would have noticed the flaw. But while the family waited and a number of VIPs, to include the Chief of Staff of the Army watched, 1st Sgt. Watson stood unmoving.
Often when people ask me how I am doing, I will respond by saying, “Better than I deserve.” It is not a response I created. I learned it from Paul Drake, a saint who epitomizes the word faithful. When asked how he is doing, whether circumstances are good or trying, Paul can be counted on to say, “Better than I deserve.