In the spring of 1997 there was a knock at my door. I was told to gather my bags, there was an emergency. Less than two hours later I was flying away on a C-130, similar to the one in the photo. We made a stop in Germany, where we picked up a team of soldiers (Army Rangers, a Navy Seal, and a Green Beret). Three Combat Controllers (USAF Special Operations) were already on board. My purpose on this mission, secure the aircraft. There were two of us, USAF Security airmen. Lest you think I am boasting, let me assure you I am not. I was not much help. Turns out, there was little need for us to secure the plane, our presence was protocol.
It was probably the most intense thing that I experienced while I was in the USAF. Except for the time I told a white house agent that he could not enter the base command post. He was not on my entry authority list, anyhow, he was ticked. As a result of my strict adherence to regulation, I was rewarded with the opportunity to take a tour of Air Force One. But, that never happened, the following morning my escort never arrived.
Back to my original story, about midday we arrived at an airport located near Brazzaville, a city of the Republic of Congo. It was there that we picked up (rescued 56 people and 1 dog). Our landing was delayed due to a firefight at the control tower, but once we landed I realized that the runway had been secured by the French Foreign Legion. The team that we picked up in Germany stayed behind to assess the rebel situation, and we proceeded to Libreville, Gabon.
We rescued fifty-six people from a violent and volatile situation. I have often thought about that event. What if the fifty-six people chose not to be rescued? What if, they decided that they would like to try and talk with the rebels, reach a peaceful agreement? Maybe, they could change the minds of the rebels, work out an agreement. I assume that you probably agree with me, such a decision would have proven to be very foolish, and deadly.
Spiritual Application-God sent Jesus to rescue humanity.
After a few days, I had the opportunity to meet several of the people that had been rescued. They belonged to the Peace Corps. I will never forget what they said to us. Prior to their rescue they had thought very little of the U.S. military. They were not fond of violence (I don’t blame them for that.). But, after they were faced with the reality that they might be killed, and after the military rescued them from imminent death, their perceptions were different. They thanked us. They had been rescued.