That Was The Way He Was

Sergeant Dennis Weichel, 29, of the Rhode Island National Guard, was riding in a convoy in eastern Afghanistan when some children were spotted in the road ahead, picking up shell casings, which are recycled for money. The soldiers in the convoy got out of their vehicles to get the children out of the way of the heavy trucks coming later. The huge, armored MRAPs, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle, can weigh as much as 16 tons.

Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. —Romans 5:3b-5

An Afghan girl darted back onto the road to pick up some more casings. Weichel spotted the girl and managed to get her out of the way, but was run over by the heavily armored truck. He later died of his injuries.

Lt. Colonel Denis Riel, a spokesman for the Rhode Island National Guard, said, “I have heard nothing but incredible stuff about this kid. He was the living embodiment of the Army: courageous, selfless, and loyal. This one is a significant loss.”

Staff Sgt. Ronald Corbett said, “He would have done it for anybody. That was the way he was.” The father of three was posthumously promoted to sergeant and received the Bronze Star for heroism.

What motivated Dennis to risk his life? Was it being a father? A soldier? Or maybe it was just built deep into his character? Likely, it was all of these things.

Today, whatever God is working to build into your character, cooperate fully. God knows what is best for us and, as with Sergeant Weichel, knows how to produce some amazing traits.

MIGHTY GOD, in life and in death, I want to be known as a person of great character. And I know it is produced slowly over time, one decision at a time. Help me today to make wise choices in all that I do.

A daily devotion from


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