A lot of people had come from a lot of places, but to each one his home was the end of a trail that started somewhere afar off.”
–Louis L’Amour (Passin’ Through)
“But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
–Hebrews 11:16 (NLT)
Annie’s and my journey actually started out at the Evangel University (it was College back then) library. I took a deep breath, gathered up my courage and asked her out. From that point we have not been apart. We started out in Missouri, and our lives have led us to many places. Except for the years in the military, we figured that each one of the homes was the end of the trail, but nope, we would pack up and move. The longest we stayed any one place was in San Antonio. We were there for 22 years, and now have spent a year living with Kimberly. In the past week we have finally moved to our new house in Coldspring, TX. A home–not yet. It takes the touch of a woman to make a house a home, but I am confident that it will soon be a home.
I have heard and read where people have said that it isn’t the destination, but the journey along the way that counts. That is only partly true. The journey gives us experience, help develops our character, and challenges us to see if the destination is worth it. Some will falter along the way, but once starting out on the trek, don’t stop–the eternal city of Heaven will be worth the journey, and it the thing that counts.
I went to the Marine Museum when it first opened and one of the first sights you see upon entering the display area is a man upon the ramparts fighting. He was a small man in stature, 5’6″, 135# but was a fighting man, touch, determined, and disciplined–Dan Daly. In his military career he earned two Medals of Honor.
While at the American Embassy, in what was then Peking, Daly was holding the fort while others went to gather supplies. It was then that the Boxers decided to attack. Daly was the only one between the attackers and the American diplomats. He quickly went into action and when his squad returned they saw the carnage that Daly wrought upon the enemy with 200 dead Boxers.
A decade-plus later, serving in Haiti; his platoon was on a reconnaissance patrol. As his platoon was crossing a river 400 Haitian Caco rebels opened fire. The Marines managed to cross and set up defensive positions, but during the attack in the river their heavy machine gun fell into the river. That night Daly went to the river and dove in, found the gun, and carried it back to his platoon. The next morning the Marines completely annihilated the rebel units.
During World War I, Daly saw action in several campaigns. He won three more combat medals and was wounded three times. At Belleau Wood, German forces were slaughtering Americans as they attempted to cross an open field to get to the woods. Daly, frustrated, shouted, “Come on…do you want to live forever?” and he charged out to meet the enemy. He was nominated for a third Medal of Honor, but even the Marines decided that would be one too many.
It is a shame that there is not much information on his career. If I am not mistaken, he retired from the Marine Corps, and became a doorman at either an apartment building or hotel. That makes me think of those in Hebrews 11, where their name is not mentioned. We know little about them, except the few whose exploits are mentioned.
Dan Daly did not desire fame; he was simply a man who did his duty. A man who put his life on the line for his country. Yet, we have the cry-babies, the snowflakes out there who whimper that life is just too tough. They need safe zones. Think of men like Dan Daly when you see someone kneel while the National Anthem is played.