PROTECTED IN IRAQ BECAUSE OF GOD AND PRAYER
Jesus Did It!
Editorial Staff Note: The following praise reports are from Landon Rasmussen, of Redmond, Oregon. Our primary purpose for publishing his emails is to exhort people to continually keep friends and loved ones lifted up in prayer who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The individual who writes this constantly thanks people for praying for him, and here is proof of the value of our prayers for soldiers in combat (Latest message at bottom):
February 27, 2007:
Hello Friends and Family - how is everyone?
Something happened today that I thought you all might be interested in hearing about. We had a mission this morning. It was a large scale raid, and I would say we had about 15-20 vehicles. On our way to the target house the vehicle in front of us broke down, so the plan was to tow the vehicle back and then continue the mission.
Just as we were about to move, a second vehicle broke down. At this point the CO decided to abort the mission. The whole time I have been here we have not aborted one mission, so I was pretty mad that we had to go back.
Well - just as soon as we got back ... we heard a loud explosion in the distance. Then it came over the radio that a 2000 pound VBIED (Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device) had exploded RIGHT NEXT to our target house! It killed 10 IA (Iraqi Army soldiers) and wounded seven others. If our vehicles would not have broken down, that would have been us!
So for those of you that think your prayer may not be working, here is some proof for you!
I just want to thank everybody so much for all your prayers for me and my unit. It works! Please keep it up.
Some may call it coincidence, but I say it was God. I know it was God!
I hope this story encourages all of you. Feel free to pass it on to your friends. Thanks again for your prayers!
Note: If anyone wants to see the awesome group of guys I'm teamed with, you can click: Here
Update; June 5, 2007:
Hello Family and Friends,
I'm sorry it has been so long since my last update. We
have been VERY busy. As some of you know, my platoon has been split in half
since I got here in November 2006, but as of about two weeks ago we are now back
together again. It is good to be back with my buddies and doing missions with
them! Although the bad part about having a full platoon again is the workload.
We have been doing about two missions a day so we pretty much have no free time.
The last month and a half or so has been pretty exciting here in Mosul. The action has really been picking up. We are getting into engagements almost every day now. I like it much better this way. Just tonight we caught two pretty bad dudes and found a decent sized weapons cache.
Earlier today God gave me a pretty cool reminder that He is still watching my back. We had just gotten back from our morning mission, and it was about noon, so we decided to go get some chow. We drove our Humvee up to the chow hall and parked. As we were walking away from the truck, I heard this quick whoosh sound - then a loud thud.
I turned around to see what it was, and about 25 feet away from me I saw this cloud of dust. Well - it turned out I was right. A 81mm mortar round landed just 25 feet from me and it didn't explode! I never thought going to get some food could be so dangerous!
We get mortared a lot, but very rarely do they make it
to my side of the base, and its not very often that they don't explode. Thanks
for all your prayers everyone. This is just one example of a million that I have
that your prayers work.
Please write me back if you can; its not often that I can respond personally to everyone because I don t have much time, but I do love hearing from everyone. Keep in touch.
Update; November 18,2007:
Dear Friends and Family,
This morning was my last mission in Mosul Iraq for 2007, and only by the grace of God did I return alive. We had a simple 24hr QRF (Quick Reaction Force) just like we always do. It was about 6 a.m. this morning and we were driving back to the FOB. I was lead gunner for our 4 vehicle convoy. We were going through some serpentine barriers when a buried IED exploded under my truck. It lifted the whole vehicle off the ground and it was VERY loud. Immediately I checked myself to make sure I was ok, then I heard screaming and yelling from inside the cab. It was my driver and friend Russ. He was hit in the leg and it was pretty bad. I looked over the front of the truck to see the damage and realized that there was no front of the truck, it was completely blown off.
We dismounted and started treating Russ while at the same time getting all the sensitive items out of the vehicle so we could rush him to the hospital. As soon as we were ready to go we moved about 10 feet then BOOOM!! Another IED hit the LT's truck. Since I was now a dismount and jumped out and ran to the truck...the whole rear end was gone. As soon as I got to the truck the back door opened and our interpreter got out. I wont describe his wounds but they were BAD. We immediately started treating him. We knew help was on the way but we were now unable to move with only two trucks...not a good situation.
Shortly after help arrived and we put the vehicles on a wrecker and brought them back to the FOB. Russ has a broken leg but he is going to be okay. Paul our terp is going to loose a leg and his hand. Please be praying for them. If the IED that hit my truck had exploded 2 feet back under the cab instead of the engine I wouldn't be here, but praise God He protected me again!!!
The good news is you don't have to worry anymore; this was my last mission and ill be home in just a few weeks. Ill be sending out another email here soon. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support over this last year. It has helped me so much...obviously!!! See you all soon!
Here's a photo of the truck that hit the first IED.
Update; November 24,2007:
Well ... it turns out the mission where we got blown up was not my last. The new unit is here and now we are taking them out everyday and getting them familiar with the city. Today we were doing a simple dismounted patrol and clearing a few houses. I was up on top a roof with one other guy and we started getting shot at. I poked my head up to see if I could see where it was coming from when a bullet deflected off the wall right in front of me and then landed in my lap! Please do not stop praying for me!
Update; December 16, 2007: (The following update is from Landon's mother, Karil).
It's true! SPC Landon Rasmussen has now completed his 14 months of deployment to Iraq and is now safe and sound on American soil! We are all overwhelmed with a deep sense of gratefulness to our God for all He has done on Landon's behalf.
Rebekah, Kara and I traveled to El Paso (where Landon is stationed) last Monday, the 10th of December, to be there for the grand homecoming. Scott was scheduled to come with us, but due to some unexpected circumstances he was unable to go, which was disappointing to say the least. All Landon had been able to tell us was that he was due back on the 11th or 12th, so as to not take any chances on missing anything, we left on the afternoon of the 10th. Landon's host family, the Larsens, rolled out the red carpet for ALL of us and a few of those in our group stayed in their home. Landon's best buddy, Joe Welch, was also due home on the same plane, so Joe's mother and sister from Chicago were there too. My girls and I stayed at Blythe Larsen's sister's house just right down the street. We all had our own rooms and Bruce and Margaret Meyers were such gracious hosts, even though we hardly ever were there to visit with them!
After arriving in El Paso, we discovered that the boys wouldn't be in until late in the afternoon of the 12th, so in the meantime we made some welcome home posters and spent quite a bit of time with the History Channel film crew. They interviewed us and took quite a bit of footage all day Wednesday, the big day of arrival. They filmed us as we excitedly jumped in our cars and headed to the Military air base where the families were gathering. When we walked into the big room where all the loved ones gathered, it was quite an overwhelming sight. Welcome home posters of ALL kinds COVERED the walls. There were messages to Daddies, Sons and Uncles. There were balloons everywhere and a sense of proud patriotism permeated the excited atmosphere. They were serving hot dogs, chips and the works for those of us who would be waiting. There were 3 planes due to arrive that very night, so it was quite a big deal. Right outside on the tarmac was where the planes carrying our men would be taxing in and they had the biggest American flag I've ever seen waving proudly in the night sky. Inside, there was a special area all ready for the soldiers to march in after they landed, marched past us, had checked in their weapons and were all accounted for. It was a big garage door type thing where the door rolled up and right in front of the door was a big metal arch with lights and fog machines. You could just tell by looking at it that it was going to be a wipe out seeing those guys march threw that big door, under the arch and right through the crowd. I teared up MANY times just by imaging what lay ahead, as you can imagine.
One of the many highlights of that night was having Sgt. Trent Boone, Landon's immediate commanding officer, wheel SPC Russ Ladwig into the room sitting in a wheel chair. Russ was the guy who suffered a broken leg and shrapnel wounds in the IED blast that hit Landon's humvee and tore the front off of it. Russ has been in a hospital ever since and was able to get out of his hospital bed to be there. He WAS NOT going to miss being there for his brothers as they came home. He was pretty weak and has lost quite a bit of weight, but there still was no stopping him. He told us the whole story of what happened to him, showed us some of his battle wounds (some of them were not fit to see!) and told us what his buddy Landon meant to him. Landon spent the whole day with Russ before he left Iraq and was one of two guys to lift his stretcher up onto the plane to take him to a hospital in Germany. This guy is 20 years old, is already a war hero and I swear to you he looks like he could not be a day over 16 years old!
We had first heard that the guys would arrive at around 5:00pm and then at 3:30 I received a text message from Landon stating that he was on Texas soil at Fort Hood, also in Texas. They had to drop of some guys there and then would be on their way to us. About a half an hour later we got a phone call from Landon saying that the plane had problems and they wouldn't be leaving there for quite a while, maybe not until the next day! We went to prayer, the problem was fixed after about 3 ' hours and at around 9:45 pm, an announcement came over the PA system ' 'Folks, if you go outside on the tarmac and look into the sky to the east, you'll see a bright light which is the lights coming from the plane carrying our boys home.' I started to cry right then and there as all pandemonium broke out and everyone raced outside. We grabbed our cameras and the History Channel crew raced out to get every bit of film they could of us. There was a barricade keeping us all at a distance from the actual area where the plane would be taxiing in. The plane soon landed in the distance amidst screaming and cheering. It slowly but surely taxied over to an area where we could at least see from a distance and soon our guys (all 137 of them on this plane) started coming down the stairs and walking toward the building. The Army band was playing, but it was just too noisy to hear them. We screamed and yelled greetings to each one until we actually saw Landon and Joe themselves and then the screaming began in earnest. They could only walk past us but they acknowledged us and I could see Landon's dimples in all their glory even at that distance. As soon as the last soldier walked by, we all ran back into the big room where they would soon march in through the big door and under the arch.
Just about 20 minutes later, as the masses of loved ones all lined up on either side of the walk way designated for the soldiers, loud music began in the background, the fog machines were turned on and the lights on the arch began flashing in earnest. The door slowly went up and at first you just saw their boots, then their legs and then their full bodies. Landon was right in the front row standing at attention and then they all started to march in. The screaming was deafening and I was so proud of our men I could hardly stand it. It was so moving and emotional I just do not have the right words to describe the sight. The guys soon came to a halt and commanding officer Colonel Twitty of Fort Bliss, El Paso, said these words, 'Men, welcome home and job well done. We're proud of all of you. Now you're dismissed!' Sheer and complete chaos broke out as we all raced to find our soldier. I followed the camera crew and Kara right to the spot where we thought Landon was. I had no idea where anyone else was, it was just too wild for words. For a few minutes we couldn't find him and I actually found Joe first. I hugged Joe tight and welcomes him home and then kept on looking and searching for Landon, then out of the crowd he appeared. He came towards me, grabbed me and lifted me completely off the floor. I was in complete sobs by then and could hardly let go of him. There was my son, all 6 and half feet of him and he was really there and I could touch him. He was safe, God had protected him, he had done his job with excellence. What more can I say. I'm crying like a baby just writing about it. It was something I'll never forget as long as live on this earth. To top it off, as if I could take anymore, Kara handed her brother an encases American flag that flew in Washington DC at one time. It's a long story as to how she got it, but truly it was an unexpected gift to her from someone she did not know and she had saved it for just this moment. She carried it on the plane all the way from Portland to El Paso and would hardly let it out of her sight. Now here she was handing it to her dear brother, trying to tell him what it all meant to her to give it to him and folks, it was the most precious moment of Kara's life up to this point in time. I don't know if the History Channel captured that moment, but I sure hope so for posterity sake!
We FINALLY all calmed down, went and retrieved Landon's gear and got his stuff all situated in his new barracks (which really is his old barracks). We hopped back in our cars and headed for the Larsens. Landon took a shower and we had the best night ever with our soldiers just being together, telling stories, laughing and having more fun than is humanly possible. We all went out for breakfast the next morning and then that afternoon the girls and I were due to head home. Our plane was grounded to a malfunction and as it turned out, we did not leave El Paso until the next morning, so even though it wasn't planned, we were able to fit in one more night with Landon! Small inconveniences and frustrations have taken on a whole new meaning for us. They are not as irritating as they used to be as our mantra became this ' 'Landon is home safe and we all got to be together.' We said it over and over again when we were in line for 2 hours trying to get a different flight schedule, in the airport for 5 hours trying to get resituated and in line for an hour trying to get Kara's luggage back.
Of course there was really no sleep to be had the entire trip, so I'm still trying to recuperate from it all. I picked up a bug somewhere along the way, so Scottie has been ministering to me and taking great care of me as I've spent most of my time on the couch and debriefed with him the entire trip many times over! I cannot thank you enough for taking time to pray for Landon and ask about him from time to time. Your prayers truly meant the world to all of us and I know Landon felt covered many times over. I'll send pictures for you all to see as soon as I can and I've even got some great video footage too.
With deep gratefulness to all,
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of
the kingdom [Jesus
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click FOR JESUS on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - that's all you are asked to do. God will reward you! (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one or more of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... or may need to be re-reminded).
JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT!
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