Criswell College held a Veterans Day event, inviting current and retired service members to campus to join in prayer for our nation and for those serving in every branch of our military.
Vice President of Advancement Dr. Joe Wooddell, whose office hosted the event, shared that he came to Christ while serving in the Army. He stressed the importance of praying for those giving their lives defending the United States, and also the importance of them giving their lives to Christ.
“A preacher shared with me that salvation is a free gift, and you have to receive it by faith. I realized that for the first time, consciously, I had believed that all my life. I just never received it. I had never personally invited Jesus into my heart and prayed that he would forgive me of my sins. So, I did that. On February 1, 1987, I was baptized, and the Lord called me into vocational ministry. I finished my time in service as an E-4 (Army Specialist) and went straight to Liberty University, then Southwestern Seminary, and finally made my way here (Criswell).”
Among those who prayed during the event were veterans like Joe Veracruz, who now serves as Chaplain for Dallas Fire-Rescue. Veracruz began his military career after graduating from high school.
“I joined the Texas Air National Guard, a reserve component, and I served from 1983 to 2008. So, I’m a veteran of Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2005. I’ve also been a member of Dallas Fire-Rescue for almost 30 years now. I just obtained the rank of Lieutenant and full-time Chaplain. It is a full-time ministry,” Veracruz said. “Most of our veterans are doing the job, and they need people like us to support them, to intercede for them, and to keep them covered in prayer. Aside from that, we need to keep their families covered in prayer and do the best we can to support them.”
David Young, Lt. Col., United States Air Force (retired), a 25-year veteran, also offered a prayer.
Young said, “We need to remember that God calls us, all the time, to remember things. Unfortunately, in the day we live in, we do not spend enough time sitting down, stopping our busy lives, reflecting on how we got here, and reflecting on God’s goodness. That’s why it is so important to have events like this so we can just stop for a second – and remember.”