The Best Birthday

Joseph Keenan had been a private practice doctor in his hometown for more than 30 years. “All four of my grandparents were immigrants,” he said. “They came here because there was opportunity. I realized as I got older, how good life was to me.”

So he decided to join the military.

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit.” —Psalm 92:12-14a

Due to his age, his first application was unsuccessful, but eventually, “One of the colonels looked at my credentials and said, ‘We’re going to try everything possible to get this guy in,’” Dr. Keenan said.

A year later, he was sworn in on his 61st birthday. “It was one of the best birthday presents I could have received.”

On his 64th birthday, Lieutenant Colonel Keenan, of the Air National Guard 131st Fighter Squadron, celebrated his third anniversary of military service.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Joseph Keenan, 380th Expeditionary Medical Group flight doctor
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. (Dr.) Joseph Keenan, 380th Expeditionary Medical Group flight doctor

Dr. Keenan was eventually deployed to Afghanistan. “I was at Bagram and Kandahar and saw first-hand the sacrifices that are being made by the troops over there,” he reported. “It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made to join the United States Air Force. I feel so fortunate to be able to serve my country. People are very happy that I’m here and doing what I’m doing. It’s just been a win-win situation.”

Lt. Col. Christopher Borchardt said of the doctor, “I can train someone to be a doctor, but I can’t train enthusiasm.”

Throughout history, few nations have inspired people the way the United States has.

Know today that you are a part of something much bigger than yourself, yet you have a special place in the life of this nation by your service to her, just like Lieutenant Colonel Keenan.

SOVEREIGN GOD, thank You for such inspiring people in such an amazing nation. Thank You for my place and my service here.

A daily devotion fromstrength for service

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