Letters from our Servicemen

Dear Beacon Lights Staff

How are you all? I am fine. I am just back from my furlough which lasted from July 14 to August 1, 1966.  I had a very nice time and saw a lot of my relation, which I liked very much.

I’ll write a few lines and try to give you an idea of what the Army is like.  My reaction to Army life is in this light: I tried to get into the Reserves, but I missed the Grade on my test, so then I was drafted on Nov. 3, 1965.  And I can say only that it is the call from God, our Heavenly Father.  For God alone has put me here, and I am bound to obey Him.  For God watches over His own wherever they may be, whether in civilian or in military life, whether I go to Viet Nam or remain in the States.

I can only thank God alone for taking me through ten months of Army life.  I am also glad I don’t do the things the other men do, such as drinking and so on.  I feel I cannot do such things as that, for God put me here for a reason.  I believe He is testing my faith in my God.  For I could go the opposite way, but I hold fast to the Bible, my only real comfort besides the Standard Bearer and Beacon Lights.  My Standard Bearer subscription runs out again in January, and I will surely renew it, for it is very worthwhile.

Now the government is thinking of extending my time.  It is in Congress now to extend the time of all U.S. personnel six months.  I don’t know whether it will go through, but that is also in the hands of our God.

Before I came home on leave, we were on test in our Battalion.  In that time we camped out and learned everything about the 175 mm gun.  Really we didn’t get much sleep at all.  But with that all over with, I guess I am awaiting orders for possible overseas duty.  But if the Lord wills I may spend my time in the States.

We are now shooting the 105 mm Howitzer, which is a two-wheeled, towed gun, and is pulled by a truck.  This gun has a range of about 7 miles, although in Viet Nam it is shooting 10 miles out.  We are only shooting this gun for a school support program such as an Officers’ Candidate School group.  We usually shoot from 15 to 50 rounds at a time.

I don’t mind the Artillery part of the Army so much, for I feel it is better than other parts of the Service.  I thought I would be put in the infantry, but instead I was called to the Artillery.  That shows a person how his thinking is all wrong sometimes!

I now have been at Fort Sill from January 21 to the end of August.  I have about 2 months to go, and then I will have completed my first year.  But if the Lord wills I could be extended for six more months.  I have a picture of our 175 mm gun on which I was trained.  I couldn’t get all of the tube in the picture. (It’s 37 feet long.) I also have an extra picture of me which you may have.

I thank you very much for sending me this news letter which you plan on starting in the future.  I think it is a very good idea, because it could give other Prot. Ref. men in the Service an idea of what they are doing, where they are stationed, and so on.  I hope there is a 100% interest in doing this sort of thing.

I thank you very much for the Beacon Lights magazines.  They are very worthwhile reading.

Your Brother in Christ,

 Pfc Roger A. Kamphuis


Dear Beacon Lights Staff

I was very much pleased to receive your letter.  I wish to express my gratitude for the copies of the Beacon Lights sent me.  I feel they are very helpful in keeping in contact with the Protestant Reformed Churches.

Presently I am stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and live off post with my wife.  Of course, this makes the service much more pleasant.  I do feel that I’ve learned much from the Armed Forces and that it is an experience a young man won’t forget.

I feel that the hardest part of the Army is being separated from our loved ones and from the true preaching of the Word.  But daily we must pray and ask God not only for strength and guidance to walk closer with Him, but also for the assurance that we are Christian Soldiers.

Yours in Christ,

Pfc Henry W. Lenting