“I will always place the mission first. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.”
–Army Ethos/Soldiers Creed
Who does the last soldier in the foxhole talk to when everyone else is dead or gone? What keeps soldiers courageous under enemy attack? And, for whom do they truly fight and die?
A constant thread of self-sacrifice weaves through the founding fabric of the American military beginning with the Minutemen of 1776 and continuing today. It is Red, White, and Blue Spirituality.
One of the 100 most influential people on the matters of defense, retired four-star General Gordon R. Sullivan, and author of Hope Is Not A Method, shares thoughts on the subject of military spirituality and says, “No man left behind has biblical overtones. Sacrificing yourself for your country is spirituality in itself.”
We’ve all heard of army blood and guts, but what about love, and angels? Random acts of kindness by our army in war torn countries is an everyday event.
Is the concept of military spirituality an oxymoron or a God given gift wrapped in honor?
The answer may lie in how guardian angels and soldiers seem to have a secret Morse code of numbers celebrated by privates and four-star generals on Veteran’s Day, November 11th; 11/11.
In this rare video interview, General Sullivan, a tireless advocate for soldiers and their families, former Chief of Staff of the Army (highest ranking army officer) from 1991-1995, and recipient of numerous awards and medals including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and most recently the George Catlett Marshall Medal shares insights and memories of heroic war stories concerning the seldom discussed topic of ‘Spirituality in the Military.’
1111 are special numbers in mathematics, spirituality, numerology, and the Armed Forces.
The ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was first to establish that numbers hold vibrational properties and taught his Pythagorean students how the entire universe is mathematically precise.
The number 1111 is a sign of perfection.
According to New Age and Angel Experts like Doreen Virtue, 1111 is the twin-flame angel-number angels use to speak to us. Numerologists consider 1111 to be the master number of synchronicities.
Is it by coincidence that 1111 is also the date that signifies Veteran’s Day, originally called “Armistice Day,” which commemorates the signing of the agreement to end hostilities with Germany that ended World War I?
Veteran’s Day celebrates the life and death of every soldier which reflects the Army Ethos, a promise to every warrior that they will not be left behind, dead or alive.
Riveting heroic war stories shared by Gen. Sullivan exemplify the Soldier’s Creed including one between Civil War Generals Sherman and Grant, but a particularly moving account is about a 90-year-old Penobscot American Indian from the 1st infantry division who returned to foreign beaches to perform a ceremonial ritual over buddies who died in 1944.
He blesses their spirits using stones, tobacco, smoke, and an eagle feather. “I just had to do this before I died,” he tells those gathered with him at Omaha Beach.
Military Spirituality is alive and well as told in more recent war stories too.