A daily Christian thought from:
ACP, The Church for the American Christian who is a Patriot
Pro-Christ, Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution.
34 Duck Pond Road
Harrison, Maine, USA
Pastor Rev. Robert Celeste ACP/MCAC
Mr. Steve Burzlaff, Elizebeth, Kentucky
Special Guest Pastor Rev. Jim Marstaller, Pastor of The CornerStone Gospel Church in Naples, Maine
Lt. Colonel Willis Treadwell US Army Retired, 1914 to 2005
Special tribute by CWO Steve Burzlaff, US Army Retired
Monday December 12th, 2005
For the past 33+ years it has been my honor to be a small part of the Treadwell family, with patriarch Willis Treadwell leading the clan.
What I would like to do is tell you a little of the Willis that I knew.
Willis was a part of the greatest generation, the generation that believed in chivalry. His was the generation that stopped world domination by dictators that geared up the might of American industrialization, and fought a war on distant shores to keep that war from reaching our shores. He often told of the events of December 7, 1941. Now, not only will that day be remembered as the day the Japanese attacked America, December 7, 2005 will be remembered as the day that America lost a great man to go and be with God.
Willis was right outside of Jacksonville, FL the afternoon of December 7, 1941 at camp Blanding, FL. He tells of riding through town that afternoon with some friends and seeing groups of men listening to radios and waving at them as they drove along. Only when they arrived at their unit did they find out what had happened. Willis told of the immediate blackouts at night in the city and of seeing ships being attacked by German submarines that were lurking off the coast of Florida. When wearing the uniform he was so proud of, he was in his element, something he had dreamed of since early childhood when he watched the cadets marching from the campus of Mississippi state (simply called A&M then) to town and back, passing in front of his mother''s house.
The sense of adventure that was forming in him then led him to feats that I am sure aged his mother: building a log cabin at age 12, at 13 he and his friends got parts from the dump and built a motorcycle, a year or two later they went back to the dump for the parts to build a car. After reading an article in National Geographic about gliders in 1929, he followed that dream and passion for flying, building and flying a glider with his friend Robert Redus. Funds for the glider were gotten by seining for goldfish in a small pond and then selling them at Robert's dad's drugstore - all this on top of building a ferris wheel and roller coaster. The ferris wheel and roller coaster were torn down when Robert fell from the roller coaster and broke his arm.
Willis was a perfectionist. I don't know how many times I heard him telling about having a saying while he commanded 2nd Bn, 14th Cavalry, that "the Army runs on good food and superior maintenance". When Janice and I were in Germany in the early 1980s, we had a friend who told us that she had gone to the mess hall where Willis had been assigned and on the wall were pictures of all the previous commanders and a plaque with this saying on it giving credit to him.
No tribute to Willis would be complete without a little story from him, and none of us would be here today honoring Willis Treadwell if it weren't for the sacrifice of his friend Kim Jon Suk, a colonel in the South Korean Army who was actually an undercover agent for the North Koreans. In Willis's own words (slightly paraphrased), from an article he wrote to submit to Reader's Digest in 1964 (you would not believe how hard it is for me to condense the detailed account Willis wrote into the few words that follow): "Johnnie" as he was known to the American officers was one of the most trusted and efficient Korean officers in the Kwangju area. Although it seemed to the Americans that Johnnie was the key behind the success of the brigade he was assigned to, being trusted and held in high esteem. He was really a highly experienced North Korean agent, controlling a cell that coordinated all communist activities in South Korea. In his role as a South Korean soldier he attended intelligence briefings, contributing suggestions on how to suppress terrorist activities. In their off time, they would often talk of the differences between the cultures of America and South America while in the living room of Willis' quarters. Willis would go to great lengths to explain to Johnnie the ideals of American freedoms that did not end with putting on a uniform. He explained that soldiers could own property, read whatever newspapers he wanted and go to the church of his choice. Willis was trying to show the freedoms that we have and the responsibilities that came with that freedom were dependent on each other. Willis would explain voting and that soldiers could vote for the political leaders of their choice.
All of this must have had an effect of Johnnie and caused an inner struggle as in June 1948, Johnnie visited with Willis one night when he was home alone and expressed concern that he was not armed. His quote was "this evening is not good for you" and he cautioned Willis to have his pistol close at hand. Johnnie knew that Willis was then a man marked for assassination by North Korean agents. A week after this incident Willis was awakened in the middle of the night by someone trying to enter his quarters. Willis had rigged a booby trap and when it made noise the prowler ran off into the night. Willis was lying in wait, pistol in hand aimed at the shadowy figure outside his door.
Korean and American intelligence agents continued to search for the leader of the cell, but the search was fruitless. The message center did collapse, but only as a result of a tragic struggle in the mind and heart of Kim Jon Suk. His saw what the Russians were doing to the North Koreans and what the Americans were doing to the South Koreans. These actions revealed the contrast in ideals. His American friends communicated to him the values of a democratic way of life.
Colonel Kim Jon Suk (Johnny) had to make an important decision when he received personal orders from his superiors to eliminate Willis. Willis was just too good at doing his job in curtailing the sabotage and resistance in the area. Johnny went into hiding for three months to decide which course of action he should take. After getting his wife out of Korea, Johnny turned himself in to South Korean military authorities and requested a trial. Willis said that when this happened many South Korean army generals and colonels took their own lives. Johnny was sentenced to death by firing squad.
Willis witnessed his friend being executed after being asked to do so by Johnny. Johnny's last words as he faced death were "I am so sorry to have lost face with my American friends." If Willis had not communicated to Johnny the Christian ideals by which he lived in a manner that caused a profound change in him, we would not be hear today, as the assassin would have struck.
Willis often resorted to scripture to help explain something, and this incident shows how the ideals laid out in scripture such as John 15: "13": "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," were passed on to others by Willis.
This story is just one of many that Willis had and loved to share so much. I only hope that he touched the lives of you in the manner in which he touched the life of Johnny.
Willis not only touched us with his stories, but by being the ultimate gentleman, setting the example for so many others to follow, opening the door for Betty even while he was having to use a walker to help himself get around. He would race around whoever was wheeling Betty to the garage door in her wheel chair, opening it and then insisting on pushing Betty up "Muldraugh Hill" as he called the ramp leading from the family room to kitchen. In their last days, they had recliners beside each other in the living room and would often take naps setting beside each other and holding hands. Willis continued supervising the meal preparation and then tenderly helping Betty as she needed more and more assistance in her everyday life. If that North Korean assassin would have been successful none of this would have happened.
His dedication to scouting is legendary, and I would be remiss if I did not discuss it. Yesterday at the visitation his daughter, Kathy, commented on the number of tan scout shirts there. "There must be a sale somewhere on those tan shirts." How many young men are now Eagle scouts thanks to his guidance? I hazard to even guess, but I see several here with us today. He currently gets cards from servicemen in Iraq, from doctors, businessmen, airline pilots, police officers, and all other walks of life. Willis touched the lives of each and every one of these men and now they are spreading his touch to others. I sat on many Eagle boards of review with him, and he always asked the young men what they would do with scouting once they became Eagles. The only answer he would accept was for them "to continue working with other scouts and use their skills and abilities to help others improve." This was Willis, pure and simple -- giving more than he ever thought of receiving. I would like to charge each of those Eagles, whether they are here with us today or not to do the same as this man did. Give that little bit of extra time and effort to helping others, the rewards you reap will be unimaginable.
Over the past days as I was thinking what to say here I wondered what would be appropriate for a closing tribute to a man as great as Willis. The poem "Fiddlers Green" came to mind. It is a poem about cavalrymen going on to heaven, but early this morning, about 4:00 to be exact; I was awake thinking of the past two months spent with Willis after the death of his beloved Betsy. Bedtime for them was always a special time. He always read some scripture, had a short devotion and then said a prayer with Betsy before getting into bed and holding her hand as they drifted off to sleep. After Betty died, Janice and I asked him if he wanted to continue that tradition with us. He did, but soon his eyes started to fail him, and he passed the reading and prayers on to me. There were certain prayers that were very special to him, and some nights I would try to sneak a new one in on him, but he always would look up at me and sort of grin and then ask for this prayer at the end: The title is "Good Night Dear God." It is a prayer Willis received from a cousin of his in Texas. Willis would always say "Betsy and me" where the prayer has "I" so please substitute in your minds those words as I repeat that simple prayer:
Goodnight dear God
The car photo was taken in 1934. The pickup photo was on November 12th of this year as our son-in-law was showing off his 8 point whitetail. I am not sure who was happier Joe or Willis.
Now that you have read Steve's tribute to his father in law, I would like to remind you fo what Jesus said about judging men. "You will know them by their fruits..." If you knew Steve and his wife as well as I know them, you would know that Steve's wife did not become the wonderful Christian lady that was handed over to Steve so many years ago in a vacuum. She became the young Christian lady that Steve married because of the way her mom and Dad raised her. To see and know Janice is to know the fruits of Willis. One day, if the Lord God of creation, Christ Jesus allows hunting in heaven, Steve, Willis and I will hunt perfect white tail deer together.
Let me close by reminding you that even when a man who is truly born Again dies, and all know he is indeed in a better place, there is still pain, may I ask you to keep Steve, Janice and family in your prayers? For there will be a few empty places at their CHRISTmas dinner.
The Lord be with and bless you my brother and sister, amen.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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The Lord be with and bless you all and please keep me, Jim, Steve, Channing and Cecily in your prayers. They are the working backbone of Christianpatriot.com. Amen.
Never ever forget this: There aint no purgatory!
Lord Jesus, please give women a love for their babies, from the moment of conception on, let them love them I pray Thee. Amen.
The Lord bless you all and may He heal Mel's eyes and Myra's ears. May You be with Colby as he is now out of boot camp and into Fleet Marine Corps, A Christian babe amongst many a wolf.
And Lord I ask You to bless those who bless me and mine tenfold for the blessing they are to me.
Pray for Jim, he is in Iraq disarming roadside bombs as an S-6 in the US Army.
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The difference between a true preacher and a false preacher comes down to this. The true preacher uses God's word to convict of sin, the false preacher twist God's word to justify sin. The Lord our God, Christ Jesus be with you always, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with you all and please keep your pastor and me in your prayers. Amen. My prayer daily is "Lord please bless those tenfold who bless me."
Pray for the President, pray for Attorney General, pray for me, pray for all those who open their mouths or take pen in hand in an effort to sway public opinion.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
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