A Sense of Family

memorial wall

There are over 100 stars carved into the CIA Memorial Wall at the Agency headquarters in Langley, Va., honoring those who died in service. Some names are listed, while others cannot be made public, even in death, due to on-going operations.

“So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” —Galatians 6:10

One star on the Memorial Wall belongs to James Rawlings. Having just graduated from college in 1955, Jim joined the CIA, still in its formative years.

His son, James, Jr., who is now also an agent, said of his father, “It was the mission and what the agency was responsible for. It was a way to do something important.”

cia book
From “The Book of Honor”

Speaking of his and his father’s roles, he said, “As support officers, both he and I work hard to support our co-workers. Not all of us are analysts or collectors. A support officer’s job is to do whatever you can to be sure that the other people you’re working with can accomplish their jobs.”

In 1975, James, Jr. was 16 years old when his father was aboard a cargo plane that crashed over Vietnam. Because his body was not found, the agency issued a “presumptive determination of death.”

In the early 1990s his body was discovered and positively identified—bringing closure for the family after more than 15 years. In 1994, his remains were finally buried by the family.

James concluded, “My father had a real sense of family, in that if other folks needed help, he would always be there, especially overseas.”

Family legacies are crucial for future generations. A life of service and commitment to humankind is a gift to those who follow after.

HEAVENLY FATHER, thank You for my own mission and knowing I, too, am accomplishing an important role for my community and country. May I have that same sense of family with all I come in contact with and need my help.

A daily devotion fromstrength

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