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2003 A Patriot's Faith

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Naval chaplain ministers amid war’s individual victories & casualties

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Ron Nordan is not wielding arms on the front lines as American soldiers fight to wrench Iraq from the death-grip of a dictatorial regime.
     But the U.S. Navy chaplain and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate deals daily with both victories and casualties in the lives of those who are engaging in the war.

With son in Iraq as an Army scout, family finds comfort in CNN coverage

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Army scout's parents
Ken Bush, center, shares a word of encouragement with Karen and Myron Chenault, whose son is an Army scout in Iraq. Bush is minister of education and outreach at Central Park Baptist Church in Decatur, Ala., which has rallied with special prayer for members of the military and their families. Photo by Erin Webster
DECATUR, Ala. (BP)--It's sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. After hearing the latest report on Operation Iraqi Freedom from CNN reporter Walter Rodgers, Karen Chenault turns off the television and goes to bed, comforted by the news that there is no bad news.

Wichita churches thankful for rescue of one of their own & 6 other POWs

WICHITA, Kan. (BP)--Churches in Patrick Miller's hometown were celebrating April 13 after learning that their hometown hero had been rescued.
     Army Pfc. Miller, 23, was one of seven prisoners of war rescued when U.S. Marines -- working on a tip from an Iraqi -- found the POWs in a prison just south of Tikrit, Iraq. They had been there for three weeks, wondering if they would survive, thinking about their families and contemplating death.

Chaplain’s letters from Iraq reflect walk of faith amid chaos, carnage

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Faith heats up
Navy chaplain Carey Cash delivers a sermon in 97-degree heat in northern Kuwait several days before the ground battle began. Many soldiers have come to Christ, and Cash's letters home have relayed his experiences both in Kuwait and in war battles. Editors: This photo may not be published without consent from Corbis Sygma (www.corbis.com). Photo by Cheryl Diaz Meyer/Dallas Morning News/Corbis Sygma
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (BP)--It takes a while for a letter to travel from the battlefield to the local post office. Nevertheless, a letter from the front lines of Operation Iraqi Freedom can be quite telling.

U.S. sacrifice: more than 100 lives; Rumsfeld, Cheney praise soldiers’ valor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--They left behind their loved ones, their friends and their comfortable surroundings to liberate a country, dismantle a dictator and defend the freedom of their homeland, the United States of America.

Bush, Blair tell Iraqis on TV: Freedom is at hand

WASHINGTON (BP)--President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the Iraqi people by television April 10 their country and freedom would soon belong to them.
     "The nightmare that Saddam Hussein has brought to your nation will soon be over," Bush told Iraqi viewers. "You deserve better than tyranny and corruption and torture chambers. You deserve to live as free people. And I assure every citizen of Iraq: Your nation will soon be free."

Iraq’s need for peace cries out for prayer & action, worker says

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Iraqi's uncertainty
An Iraqi, now living in Amman, Jordan, ponders the needs of fellow Iraqis in his homeland amid uncertain conditions in the wake of military intervention to end the regime of Saddam Hussein.
AMMAN, Jordan (BP)--War in Iraq has created a pivotal time in history for evangelical Christians and they must not miss this chance to mightily represent God's love, a leader of Southern Baptist work in the Middle East says.
     "American soldiers are dying to assure the political freedom of Iraq. As a Christian, I must ask myself, What am I willing to do for Iraq's spiritual freedom?" said John Brady, who directs Southern Baptists' work across the troubled region through their International Mission Board, based in Richmond, Va.

Toppled statue in Baghdad symbolic of Saddam Hussein’s fallen regime

WASHINGTON (BP)--Hundreds of Iraqi citizens, helped by American Marines, toppled a huge statue of Saddam Hussein in the middle of Firdos Square in Baghdad April 9, bringing a symbolic close to nearly 30 years of the dictator's reign, while coalition forces continued to move closer to final victory in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Mark his words
President Bush has repeatedly vowed coalition victory in Operation Iraqi Freedom, including in a March 31 address to the Coast Guard at the port of Philadelphia. “Our victory will mean the end of a tyrant who rules by fear and torture. Our victory will remove a sponsor of terror, armed with weapons of terror. Our victory will uphold the just demands of the United Nations and the civilized world,” he said.
     Iraqis tied a rope around the Hussein statue's neck and then took turns pounding at the base of the monument before U.S. Marines helped with a tank recovery vehicle to pull the statue to the ground.
     While placing a chain around the neck of the statue, Marines briefly covered the dictator's head with an American flag and then placed an Iraqi flag as a scarf around the neck before bringing the statue down. Iraqis then jumped and stomped on the statue, which had been erected last April 28 to celebrate Hussein's birthday.
     Iraqis then pulled the head of the Saddam statue through the streets, CNN reported.

Chaplain witnesses God’s power to calm the storming winds and seas of life

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)--The battlefields of Iraq have become more of a mission field than Capt. Eddie Cook ever imagined.
     Opportunities to share God's grace have uplifted even this firm believer -- who serves as chaplain and a master-rated parachutist in the 3rd Battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division's 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment -- and helped him bring many fellow soldiers to Christ.

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Attentive regiment
Members of the 3rd Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment listen as chaplain Eddie Cook reads the Word of God. Photo by Tracy Wilcox, The Fayetteville (NC) Observer
     When 80 mph winds threatened to topple his battalion one day, his fellow soldiers shouted out to him to pray. Standing in the middle of the besieged tent, Cook prayed silently for the sandstorm to stop. When the howling winds died abruptly, he was not surprised at God's grace.
     He suddenly realized that though his previous silent prayers had been answered, God was waiting for him to speak up.

She comforts other wives as her husband ministers abroad

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)--Jennifer Cook is used to life as an Army wife. She realizes the stresses and strains that come with the territory.
     But Operation Iraqi Freedom is an addition to an already stressful time for Cook. Her husband, Capt. Eddie Cook, a 2002 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate, is a chaplain in the 3rd Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment from Fort Bragg, N.C., currently deployed in the Middle East.