Shawn Markie, club reporter, led in the “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.” Prayer was offered for Bostic and other requests from club members.
Lupo gave the devotion on “Jesus Christ Knocks on the Door,” referring to the Book of Revelation 3:20 (NIV).
He said Jesus knocks on doors to get our attention. He knocks on the front doors (hearts) of unbelievers and on doors of believers — their closet and basement doors — to straighten out things in their lives.
He said God places His law into hearts because it’s based on love. When God puts the law into our hearts, he said, the burden and obligation is lifted and it becomes a “labor of love” because it’s the Spirit of God that dwells in us.
Alexander Delk introduced the guest speaker, Lloyd Koester, a World War II veteran, who fought and survived on Iwo Jima as a young service man in the Marine Corps. Koester, who was born in 1927, entered the service at age 16. He said it was quite common to lie about one’s age in order to join the service. Later he was sent to Iwo Jim for five to six weeks. He said he did not talk about is experience at Iwo Jima for many yeas because he thought it was a “bad spot” to be in. He said every time he thought about it, he would come “unglued.”
It wasn’t until the 1980s he learned there were tunnels under the island and that was where the snipers operated out of. He said if they had been aware of the 27 1/2 miles of tunnels, thousands of lives might would have been saved. It was important to take the island since it served as the Gibraltar for the Japanese.
The Fifth Division was almost wiped out on that island. Koester said he was in a reserve crew, but since they would lose five crew members at a time in a tank, he was put on detail as a stretcher bearer.
He recalled the day he and his small group wandered across the airstrip and was told by the sergeant to dig a fox hole to spend the night in. The next morning, they tried to find the Headquarters Battalion and after a few hours, ended up at the other end of the island. Everything was gone after being hit with so many shells and bombs. Later, they found six men between a big rock and a hill. When they asked about the headquarters battalion, one of the men — a 2nd Lieutenant — said, “You found it.”
Koester said that as he was writing his memoirs, strong vivid emotions and tears would come even 66 years afterward. He said nobody can know the permanent scars he had experienced and today, “we have thousands of our people over in Irag (and Afghanistan) who may have the same risks.”
“The Lord’s been good to me,” he added.
The door prize was won by Calvin Davis, compliments of Steve Robinson of Cleveland Plywood. The next meeting will be May 30 at Ryan’s.
The United Club is an organization that promotes God and Country through monthly meetings. For more information, call Martha Bostic, club founder and hostess, at 49-9207; or Charles Lupo, 478-5766. To receive the complete talk by Koester, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.