General Sullivan – Veteran’s Day & Military Spirituality

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“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.

READ MORE AT WOMEN’S VOICES MAGAZINE

Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos
Kat O'Keefe-Kanavoshttp://kathleenokeefekanavos.com/
Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is the co-author of Dreams That Can Save Your Life and three-time cancer survivor. Her dreams diagnosed her illness as seen on Dr. Oz, Doctors, NBC News, American Express Open, in Newspapers and magazines. She’s a Contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul, TV/Radio Host/Producer- Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod™, Kat Kanavos Show, Internationally Syndicated Columnist in BIZCATALYST 360°, Dream Columnist in New Earth Chronicles, and Positive Tribe Magazine, Keynote Speaker, Performance Coach who taught Special Ed & Psychology @US, and Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and Spiritual guidance. Kat is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.
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Len Bernat

Kat – This was really an enjoyable read. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Teresa Velardi
Teresa Velardi

Excellent Read… Thank you Kat! I never realized the significance of the date 11/11 and the spiritual meaning of 1111.. Until now I hadn’t put the two together. Brings new meaning to Veterans Day and those who served. <3

Suzie Cheel

Love this “I WILL ALWAYS PLACE THE MISSION FIRST. I WILL NEVER QUIT. I WILL NEVER LEAVE A FALLEN COMRADE.” yes 1111 is so powerful thanks for informing me more on both 1111 and your stories xx

Lynn Forrester-Pitocco

Kat! As an army wife of Vietnam in the late 60’s, and knowing the stories behind the scenes of many who served during that time, I wrote stories of how Angels work in our lives, especially those in harms way. As a retired Police Officer who had her own personal experience with an Angel one night, I can relate to their presence. Thank you!

Greg Durette
Greg Durette

Kat, my mother recently visited us in FL and we went to the Air Force Armament museum over the weekend. The museum was having a special day to honor the veterans of Vietnam, to help extend a better homecoming than many first received. My uncle was among those returning from combat. The folks at the museum treated my mother like royalty because of the service of her brother and offered a number of honors and gifts. The smallest and most meaningful were a blue pin placed on a map of Vietnam to show the area in which he served and a small half inch by 1 1/2 inch field issued can opener to open C rations. It really does not take a whole lot just to say thank you but it can mean the whole world. Thank you to all our past, present and future vets for all that they have done and will do to protect us.

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler

Very inspiring Kathleen. Thank you for sharing

Vatsala Shukla
Vatsala Shukla

What a lovely story about the American Indian who came back to honor his comrades. Spirituality is alive and yes, Military Spirituality lives on when no comrade is left behind. I didn’t know about the Angelic Number significance, Kathleen. I’ve learned something new!

Marquita Herald
Marquita Herald

What a beautifully thought-provoking article! I am forever inspired by the dedication of our men and women in the military. I only wish we as a country did a better job of helping them transition back into society after their service. Thanks!

Joyce Hansen
Joyce Hansen

How interesting about 1111. I was taught this very early on but have not seen anyone else linking these two together. Thank you for bringing this into wider consciousness, Kathleen.

Teresa Salhi
Teresa Salhi

Thank you for bringing spirituality into this topic. It made me want to read more. I appreciated the sharing about the numbers 1111 too.

Lore
Lore

Appreciating these new thoughts woven around spirituality and the military, Kat. As an Air Force brat, ex-wife of an officer, and a spiritual seeker of 30 years, this spoke volumes to me. I especially like how you wove the themes together with examples.

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