US Marines and Spiritual Protection in Afghanistan
As recently noted in the article on There Are No Atheist in Foxholes, men and women in the military–indeed, in the world–often sense the hand of a higher power when they survive what should otherwise have been a fatal encounter.
Another recent example was that of US Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew Koenig, who was shot in the head…but the bullet didn’t penetrate his helmet. He sported a welt and the shock of being hit, but returned to his position to continue fighting. Koenig’s reaction was typical of many:
“I don’t think I could be any luckier than this,” Lance Cpl. Koenig said two hours after the shooting.
Others saw the hand of Someone bigger:
“He’s alive for a reason,” Tim Coderre, a North Carolina narcotics detective working with the Marines as a consultant, told one of the men. “From a spiritual point of view, that doesn’t happen by accident.”
With enough patience one can find many similar stories of people surviving and even prevailing in similar circumstances. In many cases, the stories reveal they had someone back home praying for their protection and their lives.
A Gunnery Sergeant said he’d never seen a Marine survive a shot to the head, but another Marine nearby begged to differ:
Next to him was Cpl. Christopher Ahrens, who quietly mentioned that two bullets had grazed his helmet the day the Marines attacked Marjah. The same thing, he said, happened to him three times in firefights in Iraq.
Cpl. Ahrens, 26, from Havre de Grace, Md., lifted the camouflaged cloth cover on his helmet, exposing the holes where the bullets had entered and exited.
While Koenig considered himself lucky, Ahrens depended on a different source of protection:
He turned [his helmet] over to display the picture card tucked inside, depicting Michael the Archangel stamping on Lucifer’s head. “I don’t need luck,” he said.