The Catholic Defender: In Honor Of A Brother

Posted by Donald Hartley - February 28th, 2014

randy 1(Editors note) in honor of the 30th anniversary of those who gave their lives defending our Country who were killed this day October 23, 1983.)  I was in the United States Army for more than 26 years and during that time I have had many close encounters with the enemy.

It was a daily occurrence as anytime we went outside the wire there was always a risk.

This weekend my wife and I were doing some spring cleaning and I found an old newspaper clipping about my Brother, Randy when he was in the Marine Corps.

The story was written by Louise Whall for the Humansville paper called, “The Daily News”.
I want to share this story because it reflects heroes in American life:

“Cpl. Randy Hartley joined the Marines after high-school graduation in 1979 because the United States honor was at stake a half a world away in Iran, where 52 Americans were being held hostage.

Beirut 2On Monday, his mother, Mary Ann McKinney, mailed her son a package of cookies and tobacco, trying her hardest to believe he survived Sunday’s bombing of a Beirut Marine compound– an act the government says may be linked to Iran.

“I almost feel like ‘yeah, go out and blow up Iran’ if that’s who did it,” Mrs. McKinney said. “That’s how come Randy decided to join in the first place. He was furious about the Iranian situation. He’d be sitting here watching TV and he’d be so mad”.

Hartley, 23, went to Beirut in May and was scheduled to leave sometime after Nov. 6. All he complained about in letters home was the heat and the flies. Occasionally, he asked for cookies and his favorite snuff, which was not available in Beirut, Mrs McKinney said.

BeirutHartley suffered a knee injury during a training exercise that could have prevented him from joining the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon. But he said the rest of his 800-man outfit was going and he wanted to be with them, Mrs. McKinney said.

When he decided to enlist after high school, Mrs. McKinney said she tried to discourage him. Now she’s proud that Randy and an older son, David, who died in 1976, joined the Marines. Still, she said, she doesn’t completely understand the political dynamics that require a U.S. presence in Lebanon.

“I tried to talk him out of it, but I don’t know our political situation”, she said. “But I’m behind every one of them 100 percent. He told me he knew what his job was. Mostly, when he writes home, he wants to know how his horses are”.

momSince about 8 a.m. Sunday, when she and her husband, Henry, learned of the bombing from a television news show, she and family and friends have kept a vigil by the phone waiting for some word about Hartley.

They scan news programs hoping to catch a glimpse of him and glance nervously at the window each time a car drives down the dirt road in front of the comfortable rural Humansville trailer home.

Mrs. McKinney said she thinks her son is living in a tent, but his address is listed as the destroyed barracks. She is hoping the mail is simply routed there and then distributed in the area.

She said she was even more panicked recently when snipers killed four Marines. This time, the tragedy is almost too big to comprehend, she said.

Attempts by another son, Donald, of Harrison, Ark., to get information about Randy for the family were futile, she said. Donald did telephone Monday morning, though, with the news that his wife had given birth to their second son, Joshua.

Hoping that the birth is a positive omen, family and friends continued to wait and pray that the longer they don’t hear anything, the better the news.

Outside the trailer, the American Legion flag the family received upon David’s death (Viet Nam Vet) wafted at less than full mast to express sympathy for the families across the nation sharing the same sorrow.

flag“I put it up for all of them”, she said. “Whatever Marine is killed, it could be my Marine”.

In remembering this terrible event, there were 220 Marines, 18 Navy, and 3 Army Soldiers that died in the explosion. My Brother would survive the blast and our family did move on.

I would deploy to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War and subsequently a number of times during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I have three immediate family members that are in the Army and all three of them served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Please keep our Soldiers in prayer as our Nation is in much need of God’s presence.

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The Catholic Defender: Army Stories

Posted by Donald Hartley - February 27th, 2014

CD 9“Supervisory plans are derived from the plans of higher levels of management” (p 119 Supervision). Within a Command, the Medical Platoon holds a unique position in situations regarding medical care. Within a Platoon, the Platoon Leader is in charge, but when casualties are involved, the medic becomes very important. The Medical Platoon Sergeant becomes very important at Battalion, Brigade levels.

Supervisory planning would become very important to me very early on in my military career. I was in the United States Army for more than 26 years, for the Government for more than 27 years. I literally ran the gauntlet from the very beginning to the very end of my career.

According to the Molossian Naval Academy (MNA), “Military leadership is the process of influencing others to accomplish the mission by providing purpose, direction, and motivation.”
Oh how I would come to know this from personal experience and the importance of “Supervisory Planning”. One of the “Eleven Principles of Leadership” is to “Ensure the task is understood, supervised and accomplished (MNA).”

I remember a particular Thanksgiving I spent at the National Training Center (NTC) in 1985. I was a Medic supporting B Company, 1st Support, when my Squad Leader came and took my Field Ambulance (FLA) with all my gear in it. I was instructed to hang tight with my Unit that was set up on the side of a mountain range until 20:00. I was then instructed to walk towards the Command Post (CP) where my Platoon would be waiting for me.

I waited there until 20:00 as instructed and then walked to where my Platoon was supposed to be waiting for me. I had my M16 and a canteen of water as I set out for my next location. It was beginning to grow dark when I arrived which did not bother me initially because I was expecting to meet my Squad Leader and Platoon.

cd !! I easily found the area I was supposed to be, but nobody was there. They had already pulled out leaving me on my own in the middle of the desert facing imminent darkness. After realizing that nobody was coming, I was on my own. I looked back across the valley searching for my starting position, but when I arrived back, I could not find B Company. I did not know they had already pulled out.

As I looked down the area known as “The Peanut”, it all looked so much the same. I went back and forth across that valley five or six times trying to relocate where I originally took off from. This is when I realized my situation. I was now lost out there at NTC on foot with only one canteen of water.

It was dark. I could not find any sign of light or anything. I kept walking thinking I should run into something somewhere. Off in the distance I could hear tanks barreling down and I certainly didn’t want to be hit by one of those bad boys.

I kept walking, I was sweating a lot as it was still hot and humid even at night there in the Southwest American desert. I kept watching for rattlesnakes as I certainly didn’t want to walk into a nest of those things out there.

It was so dark I could not find anything that had any lights or any camp. I was in real trouble but I kept moving. I was out there all night long. I prayed, I sang, I thought badly of my leadership, I thought of home. Most importantly, I was determined to survive.

I had run out of water hours into my forced foot march. I thought long and hard about how incompetent my leadership was and I swore to myself that I would never do this to any one of my Soldiers. I finally found a camp some 20 miles as the sun was about to wake the day.

CD 1I stumbled into this camp that was held by a totally different unit. I was able to give them information so they could track down my Unit to get me back to them. They were shocked to have a Soldier walk in the way that I did. I was so thankful to have finally found anybody out there in that place. What I remember taking from this experience was to never do that to one of my Soldiers, but also to never give up.

Knowing that Soldiers have lost their lives in similar situations at NTC and Fort Hood Texas makes me very thankful that I was in great shape.

This situation would have been easily avoided if my leadership beginning with my Platoon Sergeant and Squad Leader would have utilized good techniques of supervisory Planning.

According to Lisa McQuerry, Demand Media, in addressing the “innovation in supervisory planning,” she states, “To create a strategy where effective and meaningful corporate planning is carried out so it bolsters employee morale, supervisors must be creative, innovative and flexible in their approaches. Planning should consider the diversity of the staff, each of whom have different skill sets, values and approaches to teamwork. This task can be carried out by supervisory planning that incorporates broadly-defined responsibilities and a structured system for giving feedback and evaluation. It’s also productive to place an internal focus on helping employees grow and further their own goals for professional development.”

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to have heard the Command come down on my immediate Chain of Command. What Lisa McQuerry is addressing here is vital for military training as well as the civilian world. In this case, my morale was affected, my relationship and trust for my Chain of Command was damaged.

Iraq 1I was part of the team and I had been terrible overlooked, this could have been dangerous. The Army does “after action review” after each field operation and so this was a great learning experience for me.

After returning back to the United States after being stationed in Germany for 3 years, I had learned a great deal in Germany. Within a year I was promoted to Specialist and received a lateral transfer to Corporal. By my third year I was promoted to Sergeant. This began my leadership in the Army. What a great opportunity this was for me. Responsibility is the best way to learn.  I loved the opportunity to lead troops, I would be given a task and it was my responsibility to exercise my leadership style. I was responsible for putting together a counseling packet for my troops. I ensured my Soldiers understood my expectations and received information from them to help know their situations. To know your personal is vital, to know their strengths and weaknesses to motivate them to improve.

In my early days serving the Army, my leadership loved me because I was a strong worker. You need that GP medium tent to be put up; I was called upon to set it up, a GP small, not a problem. You need to camouflage over vehicles, I always had a lot of fun with a good attitude in helping make us the best we could be. I was always competitive that way.

I was awarded the Impact Arcom by a 2 Star General (Major General Krawciw) for saving the life of a German national at Grafenwoehr April 1989. I was lifted up like a real hero. But all of this was made possible because of the supervisory planning I had enacted for this 30 day commitment. I had training taking place at each of the sites I was responsible. I was checking on my troops, I was at the right place at the right time. Sometimes it takes luck.

“Every organizational unit leader reports to and is accountable to a supervisor who is, in turn, the leader of a larger domain umbrella unit under which the sub-unit is nested. The supervisor’s planning responsibilities include both serving as unit leader for the larger unit as well as actively supervising the planning activity of the leader in all subordinate units reporting to the supervisor.”
cd!!!Coming back to the United States, I was assigned with the HHC 3/187 Rakassons at Fort Campbell and I would learn a great deal more about supervisory planning. Here I would run the full range of authority in the Medical Platoon. I started out as a Squad Leader, became the Transportation NCO, the Battalion Aid Station NCO, and finally the Platoon Sergeant as I was stationed there for nearly 5 years.

During the Gulf War, I was part of the longest Air Assault mission as we went into the Euphrates River valley basin just outside Baghdad. By this time I was working in the Aid Station and was supporting our supply, our treatment of the sick and wounded to include captured enemy of war.

We trained extensively against Chemical attack and heat related injuries. It was reported to us that Saudi Arabia was going to be hot, 130 degrees in the shade. It was the beginning of Fall 1990, that we flew into King Fahd Airport being guided in by F-15′s. There was visibly seen about 40,000 empty body bags stacked near the runway.  That was a wake up call. This was the beginning of Operation Desert Shield. All our training was of great value, we had good leadership, for the most part, and the Gulf War went fairly smooth. Upon returning back to the United States, I’ll never forget the welcoming we received with all the people cheering us off the plane at Fort Campbell.  It was during this time that I began to become more involved with the Platoon Sergeant meeting and the Company Commander’s meetings. I began to learn to use power point for my presentations for the Commander’s meeting.

I was responsible for keeping the Command informed of our medical status, sick call numbers, what was the main issues i.e. injuries to ankles, knees, to illnesses like colds and flu. Shots and hearing was always important as the unit depended on the information I provided because they would report to higher. We were just the lowest part of the totem pole. Of course, training was vital and so I had to make sure that Solders were prepared for Air Assault School which included the 12 mile road march. So, training Soldiers was vital especially for the medics to have a chance for the Emergency Field Medical Badge. That would be one of the hardest military badges to be awarded.

CD !!!!With all this training, I would have to provide a 90 day calendar of training, what the classes were and who was doing the training. All this was important to the Command as they had to answer to Battalion, Brigade, Division, and Corp…

Being in the leadership position I learned that I would end up wearing several hats, Combat life Savers (CLS) was huge, I trained thousands of Soldiers that Companies sent for CLS School. CLS goes with the Medical section, but there were Safety, PT Instructor, EO, Air Assault, and UMO hats I wore as well.

I really began to develop the type of leader that I would be. I certainly can be an authoritative leader when it was necessary, but I also saw the importance of allowing my subordinates to participate in the process. It was a great training tool for my subordinates.

Certo, S.C. of “McGraw Hill Education” states, “the supervisor allows employees to participate in decision making and problem solving. A supervisor with a democratic style of leadership might have the staff meet weekly to discuss how to improve client relations. When a conflict arises, this supervisor asks the group to discuss possible solutions and select one.”

After the Platoon Sergeant meeting, I would always have a quick meeting with my squad leaders for the daily missions and tasks. Sometimes, we would have those familiar “hay you(s)” as it seemed that the Battalion would come down the night before with a new objective. I always thought they could use that 90 day calendar with a better effect.

I would have a Platoon meeting every week to collect the Soldiers problems, issues, all the details that we are preparing for according to upcoming events and the calendar. Soldiers do much better when they feel that they are being informed to their tasks.

I was out on the range supporting as a live fire exercise, when one morning I had one of my Soldiers replace me. This was a planned event so I could come in to play in the Division/Post Softball Tournament. We did well during the season and we were in for the post cup!

petreaousThat night, then LTC Petraeus (my Battalion Commander) was shot in the chest by a stray round that was fired. My Medic did a good job responding to the situation, treating for entry and exit wounds, starting IV, and getting him evacuated out of there. As leaders, this is a great example why we need to maintain training as you never know when something can happen. When training events are taking place, for the Medic, it is always real world first.

LTC Petraeus would be flown to Nashville to Vanderbilt Hospital as an emergency medevac, but within three weeks he would be doing pushups in the Hospital. The man is a machine. He started a Physical Training Program we called “Iron Rakkason“.

These were Soldiers who would score well over 300 on their PT test. I would be one of the few that would earn that title. We would go on to win the Post Championship beating our arch rivals from the 502nd Infantry beating them twice to win the title! That was sweet!

I would soon leave the Rakkasons after nearly 5 years of service there. I would reach the pinnacle from being a Senior Line Medic, the Evacuation NCOIC, the Battalion Aid Station NCOIC, and finally as the Medical Platoon Sergeant. I was always proud to have served under (now retired) General Petraeus.

It is important to train your subordinates for the case you might have to go just as I did in the above story. I’ll always be proud that I was General Petraeus favorite medic. He would go to the ranges and find my medics with a training plan and outline and using them. I would go out and check on them.

Mission, Enemy, Troops, Terrain, Time Available, and Civilian considerations were always central to our military training in the field.

In Korea, I took advantage of putting some of my experience to good use developing a dying Combat Life Saver program. It was a great opportunity as I was stationed on Camp Hovey just 12 miles from the 38th parallel which is the border with North Korea. I stood on Victory Bridge that separates Korea from North and South.

I would be more involved in the Battalion focus because of the threats we faced day to day. Field Operations were seen as important and alerts far more intensive. Supervisory planning was a daily factor in just about everything we did. I was stationed with a Field Artillery Unit which was a different environment I had experienced so there were special challenges from the Command. Medics were not always high on the totem pole of importance.

It was at this time that the dreaded “Anthrax Vaccine” came out and I had to plan and enter into MODS all the shots given. That was a learning experience for all of us.

CD @While I was in Korea, we were hit with the worst Typhoon in its recorded history. Much of Camp Hovey went floating away. I barely went on leave as the Camp Commander had canceled all leaves and I just got out of there in time. I literally escaped riding in the back of a jeep as my Company Commander said “go now!” Water was everywhere but I made it to Soul Korea and the plane was able to take off.

Recently, I was looking at Cadet Craig Miles “Top 20 way to prepare for field training” and I couldn’t help but add a 21st way by letting out the rain clouds a day before we go to the field. “If it ain’t raining, it ain’t training” was always an inside joke, it seemed always true.

I like his number 16, ” Remember the 5 P’s. (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance) in everything that you do.” That is so true. That helps keep you out of the Chain of Commands dirty laundry list. I once was stationed at the New Orleans MEPS and had the opportunity to work with the Marines, the Air Force, the Navy, and the Coast Guard. That was very interesting in developing the various training needs of my subordinates.

While stationed at the MEPS, I had a young team of civilian employees and Military personnel who had less than two years’ experience working in the MEPS. I had hired a couple of new civilians and had new recruits PCS into the MEPS. I had been there a year by this time. I treasure that we were one of six MEPS out of over 60 in the United States Military that received an Excellent during the IG Inspection. We received the first Excellent rating in 17 years at New Orleans.

I was responsible for all the Doctors packets making sure that they were all up on their certifications, as well as the Military. I was able to continue learning in my development for supervisory planning. USMEPCOM was a great opportunity and I would be a part of putting together our newspaper, and my wife and I were part of the Family readiness group. This helped me understand the need of working with the computer.

Are mission here were to see Applicants who were looking to join the Military, this required a great deal of competence on our part to ensure that people were in proper order: “Medical technicians will give you instructions on how to complete a questionnaire on your medical history before the physical examination begins. You may find it helpful to talk with your parents about any childhood diseases or medical problems you have experienced before going to the MEPS.”

Doing the Physicals were always a great opportunity, we had over 8,000 applicants who came through our MEPS that would become Americas best.

CameraWhile I was stationed in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina and Rita hit our area and having to depart the MEPs for higher ground was a challenge, I had to make sure that everyone left the area and was among the last to leave. That was a daunting experience as we traveled bumper to bumper on the high way. My wife and I would be in Houston staying at a Holiday Inn for about 3 weeks until Hurricane Rita threatened the area so USMEPCOM to us to go to higher ground so we went to Missouri where my Mother and family were.

As a result of the two Hurricanes, my wife and I lost about everything so when I arrived at Fort Hood Texas in late December, 2005, we really had to start all over.

I would be assigned with the 2-5 Cavalry, 1st Cav Division which would really be important for my career in the Army. It was between Oct 2006 through January 2008 that we were deployed to Iraq and that took great planning from all elements. I was an important player for the Division, Brigade, and Battalion. I would be given an opportunity to affect the entire war in Iraq.

Early on I was out with the Scouts (PSD) who were visiting to the various villages and on one occasion, when our Platoon Leader was talking with the Village Chief I was called upon to take care of a little girl who had suffered some burns because she poured boiling water on her face and upper chest. By the time I saw her it had been three days and she was healing nicely, so I applied dry bandages and gave the Mother some extra supplies.

Through this experience, I came up with a plan to create a separate medical bag specific for Iraqi people we encounter every day. I went to our Brigade Surgeon and Battalion Surgeon with my idea and I came up with Iraqi supplies my medics would be able to use to help out the people we met. At the time, the Iraqi Administration of Health was nowhere and the people had no place to go. Supervisory planning here was a great tool for me as my medics would have an effect with thousands of missions.

As a result of my planning, we helped change the heart and mind of the younger Iraqi men who were fighting Americans because of their perception of us as the invaders to actually seeing us as there to help. Many of them began helping us against Al Qaeda which saved many American lives. We went from being hit by enemy attacks nearly 200 times in a month to less than 10 in a three month period. I was honored by our Battalion Commander for this effort.

Iraqi monAt this same time I was an important asset for our Brigade dealing with the enemy prisoners of war. I developed an important Standard Operating Procedure in handling prisoners of war (POW). Previously, the propaganda campaign by the enemy wanted to attack Americans accusing us of mistreating prisoners of war. Considering that they would cut people’s heads off, I thought that was rather offensive, but I developed a plan for our Battalion that stopped all the accusations. A medic had to be responsible whenever a POW to provide a medical screen with pictures that gave prove that we were not knocking them around. That changed the enemies’ propaganda war machine to nothing.

I would be called upon to see children who were born with birth defects and there was little that I could do for them. But I was able to use American channels to help some of these families. I was able to help families go out of Iraq where Israeli Doctors were able to help them. That was a major thing and this had a cause and effect.

Our Battalion became the main offensive going to the Abu Ghraib area where American Soldiers had not been part of that area. This was a very dangerous mission as we were tasked to set up a Joint Security Station (JSS) in that area. Abu Ghraib was the prison that made international news because American Soldiers were seen abusing Iraqi Prisoners. That did not help our cause in Iraq.  We had always made our own sand tables to demonstrate our part in the mission, I was not really aware that people could by such a plan: “Used for strategic, tactical or operational military planning, training and familiarization, Solid Terrain Modeling produces military sand tables for national security, government and public service organizations that need to replicate landscapes, terrain and defined geographical areas. Users can depend on exact scale, distance, terrain, points of view and sight lines.”

This was funny to me that someone would market such an idea, but if it sells, why not. I thought of that with some humor because we have used such sand tables for planning missions once we left the chalk board plan and do a walk through.

catholic defenderWith orders to go to the Abu Ghraib area, I was to provide the plan for medical support for our unit that included setting up Landing Zones (LZ) for medevac in case of enemy attacks in this hostile environment. This was a major push coming from Division and so using the sand table, I had to give the outline how we would provide medical support to include all the logistics, routs to the Green Zone in Baghdad. My plan was approved by the Division Commander who observed all of the Leaders presentations.

While out on patrol, I was supporting our F Company element who was tagging along with our E Company Element enroute through enemy hostile territory. We were attacked and the vehicle right in front of me was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The explosions caused a huge blast causing chaos which we responded quickly. With repressive gun fire, I grabbed my aid bag and began treating the wounded.

I made the call to send the wounded once treated to take them by ground to the nearest LZ that I had set up about 5 miles away. The land area was not a great place to bring down a helicopter. I treated and policed the wounded in 10 minutes getting them out of that hot area and called my treatment team at the LZ of the wounded coming. A Black Hawk helicopter was already given the 9 line medevac request and on their way. At the end of the day, the wounded arrived at the Green Zone within 45 minutes and they all lived.

Anytime we were ordered to set up a medical Forward Aid Station, supervisory planning became easier because of the experience and training that I prepared my subordinates that helped made us the finest Medical Platoon in theater! I am so proud of all the medics that served with me.

January 2009 my Unit would be back in Iraq and we were spread out into several JSS locations to include Sadr City. This would be where I would set up our Main Aid Station and my Forward Aid Station was at JSS Ur. At this time we were tasked with closing down many of these JSS locations and we would all end up at JSS Ur, JSS War Eagle, and Camp Taji.

It was a terrible day in June, 2009 when our Battalion Commander was out with his PSD that was hit wounding the Battalion Commander. My medic out on site saved his life till they arrived at our Aid Station. From there we had to medevac the Commander by ground ambulance because the sky was red and we could not use a helicopter.

On route to the Green Zone, another one of my medics saved the Commanders life two or three times as we almost lost him on route. Ultimately, the Commander lost both his legs above the knees but today, he is still in the Army helping other Soldiers who have suffered terrible loss. I am so proud of my medics who performed brilliantly.

One of my Soldiers was recognized as USO’s Soldier of the Year. That is a very prestigious award. Another one of my Soldiers was later awarded the “Daisy” award that usually is awarded to doctors and nurses and so this was a great honor for a combat medic to receive it.

CD #When the 2-5 Cav returned home from Iraq near the end of January 2010, by May I had orders to finish my career with the Fort Hood Medical Company. So I would serve in the hospital for a short time before I would retire from the Army. I would serve in Hospital Operations which gave me the last hurrah in preparing hospital personal for one more EFMB campaign.

I was tasked to be a instructor/grader for the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) lane which was made to be as real as possible for each Candidate for their EFMB Badge. By the end of the week of training, the next week was for all the marbles. I was proud that by the last day, I had 5 members of the hospital personnel still in the running for the badge. On top of that, I still had 6 Soldiers I had prepared from my last unit (2-5 Cav) so I had 11 Soldiers in the running with 90 Solders left in the running.

The Last day was filled with excitement as all they had to do was make the 12 mile road march which began very early, like 5:00 in the morning. It gets hot quick so they wanted to start out early. Of the 90 Soldiers left, only 17 made the task in time and only 4 of my original 11 made it. I went out on the march to support my Soldiers and I ended up having to flag down trucks to pick up those falling out because of heat injuries. The Medics following the march could not be everywhere at once.

That was wild going up and down the line helping soldiers who were falling out after the 6 mile mark. I was worn out after I came into the finish line myself. But I was very proud of my Soldiers who achieved the badge. Some of them literally were stumbling in with seconds to spare. That was my last hurrah after 26 years of being in the Army.

During my time in the Army, I was an active NCO for 23 of those 26 years. 14 of those 26 years I served as a Senior NCO. Looking back, I trained several thousand Soldiers their Combat Life Savers certification, a couple a hundred medics and maintained their national certifications. Working for the MEPS I was involved with over 8,000 Applicants who joined the Military services. During all this time I served the Military, I experienced and learned what supervisory planning was which was key to my success in the Military.

Family 1Looking once again at the text book, Supervision (P 120), figure 7.2 presents basic training for each stage of my development as a supervisor making plans. What, why, when, who, where, and how is very basic.

What is the mission, over the course of 26 years; I had thousands of them, some of them very important and vital.

Why the mission? In the old days we did not complain about the mission, but it seems as time goes on, that is all we hear? Why, why, why… It is important for the supervisor to keep their Soldiers informed. Sometimes, that is not always an easy answer.

When is the mission? That could be planned through the 90 day calender or it can be a hay you as the First Sergeant needs a Soldier now. That happens a lot.
Who do I pick? I try to be equal in my choosing, sometimes I may call for a volunteer or I may have to pick someone.

Where is the mission? That can range from Battalion needs a road guard during physical training, to sending a person to the field for a month. This can be quite extensive.

How to accomplish the mission? That depends on the mission, if they need a Soldier to help with police call, they need supplies, to using computers to upload shots in the MEPROS.

As the Supervisor, you have to be in charge of your subordinates leading by example. It is hard to put 26 years of military service as a leader in a 10 page paper. There is so much detail and examples that can be added that you can literally write a book.

What is critical for any leader, military or civilian, is to understand the objectives. What are the directives given by the Division, the Brigade, the Battalion, and finally, the Company? For the Medical Element, there is the Division Surgeon which includes Preventive Med that is part of our leadership.

In this writing I gave my career as an example of supervisory planning, but the principles I was given will apply to any corporate setting. There is a Chain of Command, either as a Centralized authority like the military, or it can be decentralized authority, more like a viral computer company.

Strategies are made to arrive at mission accomplishment. Goals are set that gives a vision for success, short time and long time goals should be part of supervisory planning.

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The Catholic Defender: Ever Vigilant

Posted by Donald Hartley - February 27th, 2014

pope benedict XVI 1In this fast pace society that we live it is easy to be centered on the here and now.

We take each moment and live each moment expecting that tomorrow will be a better day.

We make our plans, we go to work, go to school, take our trips, most of the time our day is already mapped out for us.

As we spend our day, how many of us realize how fragile life can be?

catholic priestIt was not that long ago Catholic Priests were forbidden to offer Mass, even if they volunteered for no pay. The Obama Administration is doing everything they can to inflict pain on the American people.

We have watched this beginning with the shut down of the World War II monument in Washington D.C.

It is difficult to watch WWII Veterans many over 90 years of age in wheelchairs, walking with strollers breaking through Obama barriers to keep them out?

Now it is being reported that Catholic Priests can face arrest for offering Mass for Soldiers deployed all over the world.

The Archdiocese of the Military are receiving many complaints such as “This is Outrageous, especially threatening them with arrest to voluntarily do their job”?

Because eternity is very important, I want to consider this for a moment. There are those who spend a great deal of energy studying the last times.

For me it is a great point of interest, to look at the signs the Scripture refers to the last days. People are all over the chart on this subject.

chick 1Many times people go off making attacks on the Catholic Faith because they reject it’s foundations and so like a crazy doctor who miss diagnose his patients, they make false prophecies and accusations.

Instead, we are to live this life in vigilance. We are to stand guard not as people who are paranoid, but as pilgrims in a strange land. Our homeland is here and now, but yet Heaven is our ultimate goal.

St. Peter instructs us to “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings”.

chick 2Recently, the attacks on Catholics in Iraq by Islamic Terrorists have made the news and how terrible this is. Those killed are martyrs bearing witness to Christ daily.

It is interesting that the Catholic Church is the most attacked group, yet the fundamentalists like Chick continues to make false attacks leading others to continue those attacks.

Violence is a way of life as people are affected by their environment. Ever since Adam and Eve with the fall of mankind, sin and death entered the world.

Why does evil happen to good people?Our faith does not take away the evil in life, it helps us through it, to navigate around it. Sadly, a thousand people will rise this very day not knowing for them, this is their last day. Will they be ready?

For many who live one day to the next without regard to their eternal inheritance this will be brutal. Jesus warns, “Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come”.

armyRecently I was told by one of our Catholic Priests of an American Soldier deployed to Iraq who came to Father wanting to go to Confession.

He told Father that he had been in more skirmishes with the enemy and he felt that his own life was seriously in danger.

Father heard his Confession, gave him absolution, and the Soldier left there with God’s grace.

Six days later, this same Soldier was killed in action after an attack upon his patrol. Tragic as this is, what a great sign this Soldier has left us. Through his example, he shows a great sign of predestination knowing that he packed his bags for eternity and today is in the hands of the Lord.

It is a terrible thing to have someone die in your hands as I did during our 2007 deployment. There was no priest. I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet for this Soldier as that was all I could do.

CD 10I trusted in the Lord’s promise to those who prayed this devotion in the presence of the dying. After returning from Iraq in January 2008, our unit held a evening dinner for all the Soldiers and their families.

As my wife and I were sitting down a man walked up to me saying that he recognized me. I had never seen him previously, he recognized me from the video given to him of his Son’s Military Memorial Service held in Iraq.

He sadly explained to us that his wife was particularly brokenhearted over the fact their Son did not receive the Anointing of the Sick. She was deeply distraught over this on behalf of her Son.
I responded to the man that I would like to talk to her if she would like as I might have words that might console his wife.

JCHe gladly brought her to us that evening and I explained to her the importance of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and of the Lord’s promise he gave to St. Faustina concerning this devotion.

This was a devotion that I had been saying on behalf of our Soldiers in Iraq along with the Rosary.

After speaking with his wife for a few minutes, she became greatly consoled with what I told her.

You can never take the sorrow away of a morning Mother for their Child, but because she has great trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, she was greatly consoled.

I remember my Mother at the funeral of my older Brother and how she was gathered around by the family trying to console her. Interestingly, this is the only time I remember my Mother ever playing the piano. Mom’s demeanor certainly created the somber tone of the scene.

Sadly, many are not as vigilant. They lead their lives with a terrible void they fill with fleeting things that will never satisfy the soul.

Virgin mary 1The Virgin Mary at Fatima after giving the Children of Fatima a vision of Hell (13 July 1917), told them: “You see Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace… But if they do not stop offending God… He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.”

Pope Pius XII warned the world in 1950 that to be a true Christian beginning in the later half of the 20th Century they would have to live as “Living Martyrs” because the attack on the family will be so severe, because people will be greatly affected by their environment.

The secularization of our Society is very dangerous to the soul. Because of this,many live out each day like a mouse in a maze not aware of the potential dangers lurking at any corner.

Enjoy life, it is God’s gift to you, but be ever vigilant and faithful to His Church loving God above all things. I have found that if you put God first, you appreciate the things you have more profoundly with a thankful heart.

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I am resigning Deepertruthblog.

Posted by John Benko - February 27th, 2014

Deepertruthblog now belongs to Donald, Margie & Ross, Christie and Dr. Greg. I will no longer be involved in any way with the blog, the show, the website or any other part of deepertruthblog. I wish you all the very best.


John Benko

The Catholic Defender: Extreme Injustice In America

Posted by Donald Hartley - February 25th, 2014

Justina 1The American Judicial System is either losing their credibility through incompetence or some of them have made decisions intending to tear down the American Family. I remember the terrible decision that starved Terri Schiavo on 31 March, 2005. We have seen time after times horrific stories of Government abuse against it’s citizens by the dreaded Child’s Protective Services.

According to the family doctor who had been treating Justina Pelletier, Dr. Mark Korson of Tufts Medical Center states, “I am dismayed. … It feels like Justina’s treatment team is out to prove the diagnosis at all costs. … The (Boston Children’s Hospital) team has demanded that Justina be removed from the home. … This represents the most severe and intrusive intervention a patient can undergo … for a clinical hunch.”

What the Doctors at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and the Child’s Protective Services have effectively done is to “legally” kidnap a 15 year old girl on a false premise. I see no real difference here from a stranger walking into the home and kidnap a girl. That is exactly how I feel about this case.

Justina !There was never any reason to take Justina away from her parents.

The story begins when Justina fell sick with what was thought to be the flu.

The Doctors at Tufts Medical Center referred Justina to the Boston Children’s Hospital to be seen but was intercepted by the Boston Children’s Hospital who never accepted the diagnosis of the long established Doctors at Tufts Medical Center.

Instead they are challenging the diagnoses from mitochondrial disease to a diagnosis of somatoform disorder.

The parents, Lou and Linda, have been fighting to get their daughter back after 13 months of 1 hour visitations with supervision each week. The parents were following the original diagnosis which appears to be the correct one.

Since Boston Children’s Hospital took Justina off her medication, her health has continued to depreciate from skating and living a relatively normal life to now losing her muscle strength and being bound to a wheel chair.

safe_image.phpWhat is making this especially worse, the Court stepping in and places a “gag order” so the parents could not say anything about their Daughter to anyone. Incredible? Lou, the Father broke that “gag order” and appeared on Fox News “The Kelly Files” to tell their story. Since then it is becoming more known and the outrage is picking up as people begin to hear about this story. What is becoming more apparent is that other cases are becoming known as light is revealing what is happening.

The Globe reported, “It happens often enough that the pediatrician who until recently ran the child protection teams at both Children’s and Massachusetts General Hospital said she and others in her field have a name for this aggressive legal-medical maneuver. They call it a ‘parent-ectomy.’”

Ladies and Gentlemen, if they can do this to people here, what is keeping them or stopping them should they come after you or loved ones who are innocent. I’m not talking about cases that parents truly are neglecting their children, but when the Government is abusing their power for financial gain. We need to hold them accountable.

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The Catholic Defender: The Jehovah’s Witness Are knocking

Posted by Donald Hartley - February 24th, 2014

church 1While stationed in Germany I remember coming home from 24 hour duties as Charge of Quarters (CQ) really tired. On one occasion, as I was getting ready to go to bed, I heard the door bell ring.
My wife had taken the kids shopping so I basically had the place to myself.

At least that was what I had thought? These two ladies stood there looking at me with a smile. I looked at them as they asked me if I would be willing to talk to them about the “Kingdom”.
I immediately knew who they represented and allowed them to enter through the door.

I offered them something to drink and a place to sit down. They declined anything to drink, but they did sit down. I was wanting to be polite as I sat down listening to them.

Jw1At first I was being respectful when the older lady the lady happened to notice my Catholic items around the house. She asked me the obvious question, “Are you a Catholic”? I could only respond with an affirmation!

That is when she began to tell me that her partner use to be Catholic until she saw the light of Jehovah! That is when I went on the offensive and explained that the Catholic Church is the faith of the Apostles.

That Jesus established the Catholic Faith giving it His authority and sending the Church to go in His name (Luke 10:16, John 20:21). By contrast, I explained that Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses was raised a Calvinist who developed a fear of hell.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the lost will be obviated, cease to exist. I refereed to Scripture that spoke of hell (Matthew 25:41, Revelation 21:8) being eternal.
I also explained that the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of St. Michael the Archangel? I shared with them the Gospel of John exposing the JW’s misrepresentation of John 1:1.

Charles_Taze_Russell_sharpThe JW bible says, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was a god”.

The Catholic version ends…”and the Word was God”. The JW’s deny the Divinity of Christ.

I compared several of the false prophecies of the JW’s Second Coming of Christ. Here are some examples:

1897 “Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874,” (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 4, p. 621).

1899 “…the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty’ (Revelation 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth’s present ruler ship, is already commenced,” (The Time Is at Hand, 1908 edition, p. 101).

1916 “The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ’s Reign, began in 1873,” (The Time Is at Hand, forward, p. ii). It is important to note that October 31, 1916 Charles Taze Russell dies and “Judge” Rutherford becomes the new leader.

JW 31918 “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection,” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89).

1922 “The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914,” (Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262).

1923 “Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge,” (Watchtower, Apr. 1, 1923, p. 106).

1925 “The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year,” (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1925, p. 3).

1925 “It is to be expected that Satan will try to inject into the minds of the consecrated, the thought that 1925 should see an end to the work,” (Watchtower, Sept., 1925, p. 262).

1926 “Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything,” (Watchtower, p. 232).

JW 21931 “There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time…and they also learned to quit fixing dates,” (Vindication, p. 338).

1941 “Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord’s provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon,” (Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1941, p. 288).

1968 “True, there have been those in times past who predicted an ‘end to the world’, even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The ‘end’ did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing?.. Missing from such people were God’s truths and evidence that he was using and guiding them,” (Awake, Oct. 8, 1968).

1968 “Why are you looking forward to 1975?” (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 494).

1972 “So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? … This ‘prophet’ was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah’s Christian witnesses.” (Watchtower 4/1/72, p 197)

Jfrutherford1911Judge Rutherford was raised a Baptist from Bonneville Missouri, by 1917, was voted as the next leader of the JW’s. In the 1920′s he filled stadiums teaching people the JW doctrine. They were also very anti-Catholic.

I went on for about two hours when they were looking for a way out. My family arrived in time to save them.

I know that the one identified as the fallen away Catholic was listening intently to the discussion and was the reason why the lady wanted to get her out of here! I was reaching her!

Deuteronomy 18:20 states, “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die”.

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*Best of DTB #289* The Catholic Defender: Seven Woes of Jesus

Posted by Donald Hartley - February 23rd, 2014

jerusalemMatthew 23 is perhaps one of the most famous chapters in the Bible where Jesus gives the seven woes to the scribes and Pharisees.

A “woe” is a “condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief”.

Because of the disobedience of the Jewish people and the religious leaders Jesus lowers the boom against them.

Consider Leviticus 26, we see a clear warning God gives the Israelite’s. The Lord says, “I will punish you with terrible woes” for refusing to obey His Commandments and breaking the Covenant.

Verse 17, “I will turn against you, till you are beaten down before your enemies and lorded over by your foes.”

Verse 18, “…I will increase the chastisement for your sins sevenfold, to break your haughty confidence”

fall-of-jerusalem 1Verse 21, “…I will multiply my blows another sevenfold, as your sins deserve.”

Verse 25, “I will make the sword, the avenger of my covenant, sweep over you. Though you then huddle together in your walled cities, I will send in pestilence among you, till you are forced to surrender to the enemy.”

Verse 26, “And as I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will need but one oven for baking all the bread they dole out to you in rations, not enough food to still your hunger.”

Verse 28-29, “I, also, will meet you with fiery defiance and will chastise you with sevenfold fiercer punishment for your sins, till you begin to eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters.”

Verse 30, “I will demolish your high places, overthrow your incense stands, and cast your corpses on those of your idols.”

E0702 KAULBACH WA403Verse 31, “I will lay waste your cities and devastate your sanctuaries, refusing to accept your sweet-smelling offerings.”

Verse 32, “So devastated will I leave the land that your very enemies who come to live there will stand aghast at the sight of it.”

Those are some very important warnings that the Israelites were given and yet, they fell flat on their faces over and over again.

Because the religious leaders did not recognize the true Messiah, because the people killed the prophets of God, Jesus declares the woes of disobedience to the Scribes and Pharisees.

Matthew 23:13, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.”

phariseesVerse 15, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.”

Verse 16, “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.”

Verse 23, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law.”

Verse 25, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.”

Verse 27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.”

siege-of-Jerusalem1Verse 29, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets blood.”

Jesus would call the Pharisees, “brood of vipers” and warns, “Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” (Matthew 23:36)

Recall the warning God gives in Leviticus 26? Jesus states, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:37-39)

It is clear that Jesus is very familiar with the “woes” of Leviticus 26 and Jesus is clear that this will happen during this generation. (Matthew 23:36, Matthew 24:34)

The Fall of Jerusalem did in fact occur as Jesus forewarned and the Jewish Historian Josephus wrote the history of this epic siege. He writes of a woman called Mary, the Daughter of Eleazar:

aleksander_the_great_08 “My poor baby, why should I keep you alive in this world of war and famine? Even if we live till the Romans come, they will make slaves of us; and anyway, hunger will get us before slavery does; and the rebels are crueler than both. Come, be food for me, and an avenging fury to the rebels, and a tale of cold horror to the world to complete the monstrous agony of the Jews.” With these words she killed her son, roasted the body, swallowed half of it, and stored the rest in a safe place. But the rebels were on her at once, smelling roasted meat, and threatening to kill her instantly if she did not produce it. She assured them she had saved them a share, and revealed the remains of her child. Seized with horror and stupefaction, they stood paralyzed at the sight. But she said, “This is my own child, and my own handiwork. Eat, for I have eaten already. Do not show yourselves weaker than a woman, or more pitiful than a mother. But if you have pious scruples, and shrink away from human sacrifice, then what I have eaten can count as your share, and I will eat what is left as well.”

Matthew laments as he quotes Jesus saying, “Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days.” (Matthew 24:19)

The Siege of Jerusalem was total devastation and the destruction was brutal. More than a million people were killed. Many crucified.

john 1So terrible was the plight of the Jewish people within the walls of Jerusalem. Because of Jerusalem’s unfaithfulness, riding on the back of Rome, St. John would write of this in the 17th and 18th Chapter of Revelation.

Jerusalem would be the seven hill (mountain) city that would become known as the “Whore of Babylon”. St. John simply spoke of Jerusalem as “The Great City”, ‘Where indeed their Lord was crucified.’ (Rev 11:8). Because of the political ties between Jerusalem and Rome, St. John recognized the “Woman” who ‘represents “the great city that has sovereignty over the kings of the earth.” (Rev 17:18)

It is interesting that St. John is giving a play on words here. Something that he recognized from something Jesus once said, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Mark 12:17)

To St. John, obviously God is supreme and the people’s refusal to accept His sovereignty lands the seven woes of Jesus and the coming destruction of Jerusalem.

Because the Jews failed in keeping the Commandments and the Covenant, St. John saw this rebellious spirit regarding this woman (representing Israel) whom God called the “harlot”, the “prostitute”, the “adulterous wife”. (Ezekiel 16)

As a result, the Old Testament Priesthood was obliterated and the sacrifice ceased on the 9th of Av, 70 A.D. exactly as Jesus foretold.

Under_SiegeAre we spiritually in a dark place much like the Pharisees many years ago? Does it matter that today we are seeing so much sexuality, homosexuality, rebellion, like never before? With modern technology and the advancement of the information age, evil has increased to such levels that much of the bible’s warnings reads like current newspapers.

The Church, the “Bark of Peter” is calling for all who want to be saved from the present distress to jump on ship to be carried through this time of tribulation. I can’t help by think back to the Siege of Jerusalem, with this behind us, are we sure that in the United States we want to turn our gaze away from the Lord?

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*Best of DTB #288* A response to Jerry.

Posted by John Benko - February 22nd, 2014

I have been having a discussion with a man on Facebook. On here, I have just been referring to him as Jerry and will continue to do so.  Sometime between last night and this morning, Jerry made a pretty direct post that clearly misrepresents much of what I have said. I will respond to this in the most direct terms that I can. Jerry’s words will be in red and in blocktext.

I’ve been discussing works, faith, baptism and salvation as you know with John and I really can’t grasp where he’s coming from. By what he has provided he states that only water baptism into the catholic church saves, and has hinted that we are not saved, although he did not come right out and say it. If that is his belief, he should state it.

First, I did not say that only Baptism saves. I am responsible for what I say, not for what you hear. Your clear inability to listen gives me great insight to why you cannot grasp where I am coming from and why you are so confused theologically.  So, for the record, let me talk about what I have said about Baptism and then I will expand a little deeper.

Our initial foray into the subject of Baptism started as a refutation of what you claim a born-again Christian is. You describe being born-again as a purely spiritual rebirth, separate and distinct from water baptism. This is a novel idea that is barely a hundred years old. It was first proposed in Pilot Point, Texas in 1910 and really came into widespread acceptance by the 1970s. However, it isn’t Biblical. You demonstrated yourself that you could not find a proof-text to support it.  All you were able to do is find a number of texts that dealt with the Holy Spirit and the spiritual man in more general terms and try and stretch those verses beyond the breaking point to fit this new theology.

In a theological discussion, you are trying to have it both ways, Jerry. When you and your son-in-law (name won’t be revealed here) want to point out the alleged errors of Catholicism, you quickly (and almost always inaccurately) make an appeal to the historical record. The name of Constantine, for example, has been brought up frequently. However, you reject the use of the historical record when history proves you wrong, reverting back to your Bible-alone position. This is clearly the case with being born-again. The early church was universal in it’s interpretation of being born-again and being born of water and spirit as baptism.  This is true going all the way back to those who learned at the feet of the apostles- Ignatius, Polycarp etc.

You claim that Baptism is merely getting wet. Catholics claim that, in Baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit and saving grace. Now, you may believe what you want, but the Bible is clearly on my side in this one.

Acts 2:38

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

As for being baptized specifically into the Catholic church, that is something I never stated as absolutely necessary for salvation.

For the second time, I will say that if I say one thing and you hear something else, it is you that are the problem, not me. The Catholic church recognizes Baptism, under certain conditions, outside of the confines of the full incorporation into the church. That is why- in most cases- re-baptism does not occur with converts.

Those requirements would include a sincere repentance and that Baptism is done by the Trinitarian formula proscribed in Scripture. If a person is not Baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, it is not a valid baptism. If they are, it is. It is just that simple. If you have been baptized in this manner, it is a valid baptism, period.
Now let’s talk about what Baptism is and what Baptism does. The term water baptism, that you keep throwing around, only refers to the purely symbolic Baptism that was performed by John before Jesus was baptized in the Jordan. Once Jesus became baptized, it became a Divine action because Jesus, as you know, is God.  Let me give another example. Being tortured and nailed to a cross would have no value if it had only been done by a man.  Since Jesus endured this, it now has salvific value.

In the days of the Old Testament there were, indeed, a number of people saved and there were a number of things they had to do to get saved. The first of these was circumcision. If a Jew was not circumcised, he was cut off from salvation. Well, Baptism is the new circumcision (Colossians 4). Thus, it is necessary for salvation. Although Baptism is necessary for Salvation, it is not sufficient for salvation. Jerry’s claim that I maintain Baptism as the only means of salvation is yet another outright falsehood. I have said nothing of the kind. Air is necessary for life but it is not sufficient for life. If you cannot breathe, you will quickly die.  However,  If you can breathe but cannot get water or food you will still die.

As for your contention that I hinted that you are not saved, again, false. I hinted no such thing. I came right out and said it. You are not saved. Neither am I. Salvation is not something that is possessed until you leave earth in a state of grace. No one is getting to heaven by faith alone and no one is getting to heaven based on one prayer or faith experience. We are going to be justified the same way Abraham and all those other Adam to John the Baptist people were- by works and not by faith alone. The Bible is pretty clear on this point.

James 2:24

King James Version (KJV)

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

So, no, I do not believe you are saved anymore than I believe I am saved. Once-saved, always-saved is a heresy without one shred of Biblical proof.  I do,  however,  have every confidence that you are being saved. It is a process, not an action.

So, by what he has provided and cited as the truth, not one soul from Adam to John the Baptist was saved, as he states faith alone cannot save, and has cited many verses to support this belief. So again, by what he has provided as the truth, you could baptize an God cursing athiest into the catholic church and they would be saved. I really have a hard time with that.

I have a hard time with it too because you are bearing false witness which is breaking one of the 10 commandments. Actually, you are bearing it several times in just these few sentences. Nowhere did I state, imply or suggest, by any stretch of the imagination, that no one was saved from Adam to John the Baptist. You really should apologize for such an outright falsehood.

I did not claim that Abraham- for example- was not saved. The Bible is pretty clear that he was. I just said that Abraham was saved by works and not by faith alone. The Bible clearly agrees with me. How exactly were the Old Testament people saved? Have you really spent any time contemplating this? After-all, there was no cross. If people can only be saved by faith-alone in Christ-alone, than it is your faith system that damns every Old Testament person, not mine. No one in the Old Testament even heard of Jesus, much less accepted Him as Lord and Savior. So, how were they saved?

By faith or by the Mosaic law?

The truth is that that question is a false dichotomy and it lays bare the errors of both the Pharisees and today’s protestant Christians. The Pharisees believed they were getting to heaven because of who they were and because they rigidly kept the Mosaic law. Though they kept the works of the law, they were doing so mechanically and hypocritically, without the true virtues of faith, love and repentance. They performed their actions to be esteemed by men but their true hearts were far from God. The works of the law were required but not at the expense of the works of love and mercy. These latter works are what prove the fruit of genuine repentance and they were lacking. John the Baptist called them on it and let them know that without these works of repentance, they would be damned.

Matthew 3:

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

On the other hand,  many protestants today (including Jerry) reduce salvation to an equation of mere assent, misusing verses like Romans 10:9 to do so. They see works- all works- as completely divorced from the salvation equation. According to them, an intellectual and verbal assent to who God is (in the person of Christ) is both absolutely and exclusionarily necessary and absolutely and exclusionarily sufficient for salvation. This theology is baseless bunk and I will say so plainly.

Even the demons believe and they tremble (James 2:19).

It is true that we are no longer under the Mosaic law (sacrificing animals, Saturday Sabbath etc..) because these things were merely shadows of Christ. Believers who followed these laws by faith were saved by faith and anticipation. However, the Moral law will never pass away and the person who shows no mercy will receive a judgement with no mercy (James 2:13).

This statement by Jerry is so outrageous of a falsehood, it deserves repeating.

So again, by what he has provided as the truth, you could baptize an God cursing athiest into the catholic church and they would be saved. I really have a hard time with that.

In debating, this is what is known as setting up a strawman. Unable to counter my actual position, my opponent here creates an alternate position, pretends it is my position, and attacks this new position. Nowhere did I say anything within a universe of what he is claiming here.

First of all- a God cursing atheist? How would that work? How could a person deny God and curse Him at the same time? At a minimum, one would have cease either the God-cursing or the Atheism to then embrace God as loving Savior and Lord. Then, he would have to enter into the Rite of Catholic Initiation for adults (RCIA).  Following completion of that,  he could receive the sacraments of initiation- Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist. These would save him from his past sins but he would have to live a new life, by God’s Grace and could certainly lose his salvation- as all of us can. (Yes, that includes you, Jerry.)

Maybe my mechanical skills hinder my understanding, because I’ve tried so called ( “universal” ) parts and they never fit the way the original did.

What that was supposed to imply, I cannot even imagine. Trying to draw a parallel between having the correct contactor and salvation is a complete non-sequiter.

He also stated that the thief on the cross (could have been ) baptized prior to his crucifiction. This reveals a few things: 1) Jesus’s statement to the thief must be in his bibles too 2) If you can’t disprove it scripturally, inject hypothetical theory. 3) catholic doctrine and the catholic bibles are infallible as he states, but either they are wrong, or made up theory applies, because we know “God cannot lie”.

Again, you go off the reservation. First of all, let’s get one thing straight- The Bible is our book. It was compiled by Catholics, printed by Catholics, bound by Catholics, canonized by Catholics. The entire New Testament is written by, about and for Catholics. All of the Catholic versions are superior-by far- to the KJV and all other protestant versions in translation and manuscript support. We were preaching Christ crucified for more than 1500 years before the first protestant and we were using a fully canonized Bible for 1,100 years before Martin Lucifer first opened his rabid, fat mouth.

But I digress.

What Jerry is doing is flipping the script and accusing me of what he did. He claims that the Bible proves that the thief on the cross was never baptized because he could not come down from the cross to be baptized. I merely stated that he could have been baptized at some prior point. Could have been, not was. I was merely pointing out Jerry’s propensity for injecting into scripture what simply isn’t there. (He does that a lot!). I was not suggesting that the good thief was ever baptized only that the scriptures are silent on this point.

Nevertheless, the good thief on the cross was saved because, unlike the other thief, he didn’t put conditions on his faith. He accepted his cross in the most real way imaginable, as the just punishment for his sin and rebuked the bad thief for not doing so. Read for yourself.

Luke 23:

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.


Faith in action. That is what saved the good thief. He didn’t say “Lord, I have faith, save me from this cross”. He accepted his punishment and only asked that Jesus remember him. Faith is more than assent. It is action.

John has provided many verses in support of the position that catholic baptism saves, and then works somehow develop faith, which is translated as faithfullness,

Do you not think it is compelling that you have been completely unable to counter any of those verses? I have always been astonished at how the so-called people of the book are so afraid of what the book actually says. It is what you have to do though, isn’t it? To hold to your belief of a symbolic baptism and faith alone, you really have to throw out about half the New Testament. I mean, the words speak clearly enough on both:


Colossians 2:12

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

1 Peter 3:21

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:


Romans 2:

2 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

James 2: 

13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Your argument isn’t with me, it is with God. Take it up with Him!

a fullness of faith based on works, keeping in mind that catholic baptism must come first. It could be said then that faith is nothing more than the visibility of your works if your catholic. He claims Christ started the catholic church, and although we call them christians, they never do. Just some observations.

What else would a fullness of faith be based on? 1 John 2:4 says that the one who claims he knows Christ but doesn’t keep the commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him! Can you say “I am not a thief” even as you are stealing a car? Jesus commanded baptism, not me! How can you claim you belief in Christ if you don’t do what he says? Jerry, you are a walking contradiction. On the question of whether or not a Christian should be baptized, Scripture is quite clear that they should and must.

You confuse faith with lip service.

Jesus makes no bones about the difference.

Matthew 7:21

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mark 7:6

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

As for Jesus creating the Catholic church, that is a historical fact and I am not going to pretend otherwise because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Once again, you have made a false statement. I have stated that you are Christians. In fact, I actually think Rodney, in many ways, exemplifies exactly what a Christian should be- hard-working, honest, compassionate, generous.  However, I would be lying if I said you were followers of the church Christ gave us through the apostles. Yours is a fractured and incomplete Christianity. You do not have the fullness of truth and so you are very error prone in your interpretation of scripture and theology.

Think of Christianity as a target. Catholics are dead-center bulls-eye. (so long as they practice their faith). Nancy Pelosi is not a practicing Catholic. She is a schizmatic. In the far outer rings are the cults. The Jews, Muslims, atheists etc… are off the target completely.

Protestants, frankly, are all over the map. Some are closer, some further away.

Do I believe I am superior to you? Not by a long shot. Do I believe my faith is superior to yours? You bet I do.  I take the Bible very seriously. I do not trifle with it or make it a play thing. Jesus gave his church the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are not a matter of personal interpretation.

So, do I believe it is possible for a non-catholic to be saved? I do. To say it is impossible would be a heresy called feenyism. Do I believe it is easy for a non-catholic to be saved? I do not.  It is certainly easier for a Catholic to be saved because we have greater graces and assistance available to us. I’d be glad to elaborate later if you want.

That’s all for now.


The Catholic Defender: Son Of God A Must See

Posted by Donald Hartley - February 22nd, 2014

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I am getting more and more excited about this movie that is soon coming out. I remember the impact that the movie “The Passion Of The Christ” had on my wife and I.

As we watched the movie in the theater, people were very moved emotionally as we looked at many of the scenes from a medical perspective.

It was difficult not to be effected in some way, millions were definitely strengthened by the “Passion of the Christ”.

I was in Iraq the following year and I showed it on Good Friday for the troops on JSS Sadr City. Bringing out the movie as become a tradition for our family to watch each Holy Week.

son-of-god-movie-still-16This movie has the potential of having the same kind of affect on people.

What a blessing it is for this movie to come out as our society is wearing thin because of the struggles we are experiencing today.

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey produced the movie bringing a strong faith, Roma Downey is a Catholic and Mark Burnett’s parents was a mixed marriage. His Father was Catholic and his Mother was Presbyterian. If he is now married to Roma, there is a good chance that he might be Catholic!

Regardless, watching Sean Hannity tonight, the audience had a wide range of faith backgrounds and each person was highly motivated by the film.

I’m encouraging all people of faith to promote and support this film. This is very important because the liberal left is all about promoting the Gay Agenda and Atheism. I think that over all, they are a small minority trying to silence the Christian majority.

The movie, “Son of God” is coming out this month so please check with a theater near you for dates and times.  What an opportunity to get your Church involved to reach out in support for the family!

An afterthought from Roma Downey who said on the Hannity show that ordinarily the set for the movie ordinarily had one or two snakes removed to shoot a scene. When they go to the crucifixion scene, there were bags full of slithering snakes. I found that very interesting.

Colossians 3:17 states, “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” This movie, “Son of God” gives us an opportunity to go to the theaters and do just that! To give God the glory. If this can have an affect in reaching many young people who are devoid of religion, this might help save a generation.

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*Best of DTB #287* The Catholic Defender: The Art Of Catholic Apologetics

Posted by Donald Hartley - February 21st, 2014

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museumHave you been to a museum lately? I had the opportunity to visit “The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art” near Kansas City Missouri while visiting family nearby.

What an opportunity this was as I wanted to find a work of art for my homework assignment for my Humanities Art Class.

As I went through the museum. this place was colossal, huge. You can literally spend all day here and really just touch the surface. The more I looked for something for my paper, the more I found myself looking through the whole Museum.

There was a great Egyptian gallery that would take you days to go through if you took the time to really look at it all. There were some Roman art intermixed with this gallery, it kind of reminded my of the alliance between Cleopatra and Rome. I am also reminded of the movie that stared Richard Burton as “Mark Anthony”.

You walk in the building and all around were guys wearing dark suits keeping watch on the tourists as they went through the various stages.

They were also helpful in guiding you to where your wanting to go. I had a great time meeting some of the staff working there. As you can see, they even helped me take some pictures.

museum 1Those columns behind me were huge, that ceiling must of been 50 feet high. There were huge sculptures that were placed throughout the Museum that really caught your eye.

There was a nice restaurant inside the Museum that really came in handy as I didn’t know that taking this tour would have been so exhausting, it was really good.

One of my favorite places within the Museum was the European art gallery. Yes there were the ancient relics of pottery and statues, but I really loved the Knight on his horse.

Do you think this place comes alive after midnight? While I was there I saw several groups of young children making this tour with a guide.

It reminded me when I was in Catholic School just a few miles away from here. This was a very family oriented place to go.

museum 3Everyone who can appreciate art as a professional down to the youngest student could take something home with them. From the American Indian culture and art down to the Mexican contemporary gallery, there is a lot for everyone.

The religious paintings were really spectacular! I chose this particular picture because of the relevance I place on the Scriptures. This is an oil painting on canvas of St. Jerome, the first Biblical Scholar who spent 34 years in the Holy Land and 15 more years in Rome translating the Scriptures from the original languages.

Antonio d’ Enrico, also known as “Tanzio da Varallo”, an Italian born painter (1575-1635), entitled this work “The Penitent Saint Jerome” (1630).

This painting depicts a lot of symbols showing through art the importance of penance. As he researched and studied the scriptures, he lived as a hermit much like many of his time.

museum 4Notice the red cardinal’s hat in the upper left of the picture, it is kind of tucked away in the upper left as a background. This shows he was a prince of the Church, you can see the red clothing as well which denotes the blood of Christ.

The books are before him as he is studying them, writing them. Notice the rock in his right hand, this is St. Jerome beating his chest with the rock to show his sorrow for sin. The skull is placed there as a reminder that worldly pursuits only bring death. When you look closely at St. Jerome’s fingernails over the skull, they are dirty which is contrast by the self discipline and spiritual devotion emphasized by the paintings bright light.

Oil paintings of this kind were important for European artists especially on canvases such as “The Penitent St. Jerome.” We see the illusion of light and dark illustrating an emphasis and focal point that the artist wants to convey. This painting gives an “Atmospheric Perspective” which displays objects in the background seemingly less distant such as the cardinal hat.

As I finished my tour, I couldn’t help but noticed the art located on the landscape. Notice the statue of the man thinking. Perhaps he is pondering the heavens in what God has made?

museum 2It was a great day that I enjoyed. I would encourage you to find a local Museum near you and see what there is to see. It is part of our culture and much of the religious art is so inspiring.

Here at Fort Hood we have a couple of good Museums that depict some of our Units history. I was thinking that Art, sports, anything that takes some thinking and energy, is a lot like Catholic Apologetics! It will always be interesting, it takes a good deal of study and commitment, and it definitely can take a lot of energy.

Each person is a work of art that the Lord loves. 2 Timothy 2:20-21 States, “In a large household there are vessels not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for lofty and others for humble use. If anyone cleanses himself of these things, he will be a vessel for the lofty use, dedicated, beneficial to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

Do you treasure art? There is no better place to be than in the Catholic Church!

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