James Baxter

SEMPER FIDELIS

James Baxter

Psalm 91

My brother and I joined the U.S. Marine Corps right out of high school

and went away to World War II. Our mother, a True Believer, wrapped us

in Psalm 91 and claimed God’s promises over us. He went to the Paramarine/Raiders

and the 5th MarDiv and I to the OSS and the 2nd MarDiv. We both went through

combat and returned home safely after the war.

In 1950, with the  outbreak of the Korean War,  we were both 

recalled  to  active  duty  with  the 1st Marine

Division.   Our  mother  again  wrapped us in

Psalm 91, gave  each  of  us  a small New Testament,

and again sent us off to war with the Lord’s blessing.

As  a  12-year-old,  I  had  accepted the Lord

but had never been well-disciplined  or obedient.  I wanted to

play patty-cake in the sand piles of the world. At 25, when  I 

went to Korea,  I  started reading the little Testament my mother

had given me.

At the Inchon landing,  and  for the next two weeks of 

heavy combat as a rifle-squad leader,  I  read  a 

few Bible verses every day. I loved my brother Marines who suffered 

and  died  alongside  me.   As the death and destruction

grew more intense  – and as I stood on the brink of eternity – I did

not like what I saw.

As my  outfit, Fox Company [F-2-1],  attacked  up 

the streets of Seoul,  I was hit with a machine-gun bullet. I made

it behind a burning police  sub-station  in the middle of the

street.  My  corpsman, Chico, dressed my wounds and as 

sniper bullets crashed  into the street beside us, he laid on top

of me – covering me with his own body – and yelled in my ear,  “You’ve 

had enough!” Other riflemen  nailed  the  snipers and as

Chico left me  to  help other Marines lying wounded in the street,

he was hit by two bullets that blew  the shin-bone out of his leg.

I never saw Chico again.

Several  Marines  threw  a  wooden  door on

the ground, rolled me on it and ran me down the street under heavy fire.

It was a fearsome ride.

I was placed on a DUKW, given a shot of morphine,  and dreamed 

a  beautiful  restful sleep to Kimpo airfield and the flight

to Japan.

At  Yokosuka  Naval  Hospital  for  three 

months,  I proclaimed my loyalty to Chico, my corpsman. One night,

the Lord came to me.  I saw the blood running down His forehead, into

His eyes, and down over His  cheeks.  I looked into His blood-filled

eyes.  He  spread out His bloody hands and said,  “I did

this for you.”

I was willing to be loyal to Chico –  but, had not been willing

to be loyal to the Lord.  The Lord said,  “Come and follow me.

I will make you a man. Put away childish things.” I knew what he meant.

I said, “Yes Sir.”

With  the Lord as  the Lord of my life,  I re-joined

my outfit and went back into front-line combat for another five months

before returning home.

My brother came home with frost-bitten feet and I came home with a tender

rear-end. Our mother cried with joy unspeakable.  We were both baptized

and have been His loyal Marines ever since. Everyday we say, “Yes Sir,”

to  the  Lord Jesus  –  our CHAMPION and HERO. My Lord

and my God.

I still pray for and bless Chico Carsonaro.

                 

*  *  *  *

Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is the most important virtue because

it makes all other virtues possible.” As a senior in high school ready

to join the Marine Corps, I thought his statement was good. The sequence

sounded right.

As a 26-year old veteran of front-line combat in two wars, I came to

understand that Churchill was not accurate. Courage is not the prime virtue.

It is faithfulness/ loyalty/commitment that is the prime virtue. It is

being faithful that makes all other virtues, including courage, possible.

The Corps has it right: semper fidelis. Always faithful.

“Moreover, it is required of stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

I Cor. 4:2

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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

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