When Johnny comes marching…

home again, “Hurrah, Hurrah!”

Or so the song goes.

Except our Johnny won’t be marching home again for quite a while.

Today, as this posts, my brother John is on his way to Omaha. From there, he will fly to San Diego, where he will be trained as a United States Marine.

John kissing Dad

He’s the first of our family to leave Nebraska. The first (of the immediate family) to join the military. The first to miss Christmas.

He’ll be gone for thirteen weeks at boot camp–and after that? No one knows.

It’ll be a big change for our family. Pray for us all, please.

And we will be praying for John.

Praying that he will grow in the strength and knowledge of Jesus Christ even as he’s trained in the strength and knowledge of the United States Marine Corps. Praying that he’ll fix his eyes on his Supreme Commander, Jesus Christ, and walk in step with HIM; even as he barks out “Yes, sir” to an earthly commander. Praying that even as he takes an oath of fealty to this country, to uphold its constitution, he will remain strong in a much higher oath–to do homage to the King above all kings, to faithfully serve Him, to die if necessary for His name and His glory.

And I pray that when Johnny comes marching home again, he’ll come marching not as a warrior of this world, but as a faithful warrior of Christ who can say

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
~2 Timothy 4:7-8

8 thoughts on “When Johnny comes marching…”

  1. dangit bek, I was doing so well. I stood there and listened and gave him a hug and said goodbye and not once did I cry. and now you’ve gone and put words to feelings.

  2. Wow, this is a huge step for him…and for your whole family, it seems. I join you in your prayers for him.

    But I gotta say…hurrah that he gets to go to San Diego!!! I really think you should find some time in your schedule to go visit him. :) It’s a beautiful place! Too bad I don’t live there anymore, or I’d let you stay with me.

    I’m not trying to butt in here, but if he ever needs a God-fearing buddy to hang out with, let me know and I can contact some of our old friends that still live out there.

    • Thanks, Davene. My understanding of boot camp is that he won’t really have any freedom to get out and about during that first thirteen weeks–but if he finds himself there after that point, I’ll be sure to take you up on your offer of God-fearing buddies!

      My parents (and I think my sister) are planning on going to “family day” in January, possibly in conjunction with dropping my second brother off for his stint at boot camp. I’m not sure how that would work with my new job–but maybe I’ll be able to go out in April for Tim’s “family day”. We’ll see :-)

  3. It’s hard when any of the family leaves home, but I think it’s even harder when one goes into the military. Even though it is a noble cause, all of the unknowns and the particular hardships weigh on everyone. But thankfully even those weighty concerns can be cast on the Lord who loves the ones going as well as the ones home praying.

  4. Sent up a prayer for you, your family, and Johnny. Sending a family member off to boot camp is hard. My brother joined the Army 6 years ago and is currently deployed to Iraq for the third time. Hopefully Johnny (since he’s in a different military branch) won’t be deployed as much! :)


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