Our hero, our friend

Dr. Mark Chadwick, Pastor at Church in the Valley

As a veteran and a Chaplain for the Texas State Guard, I am greatly saddened by the tragedy of the helicopter accident in Iraq that claimed the lives of 31 soldiers. My grief is only compounded by the fact that one of the soldiers is from the Canyon Lake region. Lance Corporal Tony Hernandez graduated from Smithson Valley High School in 2001 and he served as the Crew Chief on the Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter that went down during a sandstorm near Rutbah, Iraq.

It is my loss to have never known Tony personally. I am told that he turned 22 years old this past November, a young man that by the surface evidence of his rank and position was truly remarkable. There may have been many reasons why Tony joined the Marines, but in serving his country he served the world by trying to bring peace to one of the most chaotic and war torn regions of the world. It is hard to see any good in the loss of such a fine man, yet I am reminded of the words of John 15 : 13, "Greater love have no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Tony didn't know me and he may not have known you, but he gave his life in service to all humanity.

Tony Hernandez is Our Hero and he is Our Friend! May our love and prayers go out to this family! We salute you, Tony, and we honor you in our hearts!

Editor's Note: "From the Pastor's Desk" is a new weekly feature by Canyon Lake-area church leaders. Churches will be alternated monthly. To have your church included, please e-mail Dave Cadriel at editor@times guardian.com, or call (830) 907-3882.

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