THE UNITED STATES ARMY
SIGNAL CORPS
OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL ASSOCIATION

Home Page
Devotionals  Cross

OCS CLASSES


INFO CENTER

OCS Association
 OCS Notices
 OCS Newsletter
Army News
 Class
  Coordinators
Reunion Info
Other Links
Document Library

MAIL CENTER

 Chief Locator
Web Submissions

OFFICERS' CLUB

Veterans' Salutes
Freedom Park
Bricks
 Brief Histories
Memories
Scrap Book
PX
Chat Rooms
Charity Efforts
  Music Archive
  Video Archive

AWARDS
ArmySignalOCS.com website award


Devotional Thoughts

 Devotional Thoughts
 The Spiritual Side of Our Website

This part of the site features monthly devotional thoughts by the Association's Chaplain, with the goal of encouraging Signal Corps OCS Graduates to be exceptional in their lives and to live life at a higher level. Our current Chaplain is of the Christian faith, so naturally his devotionals are fashioned around his Christian beliefs. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and can be offered directly to the Chaplain by eMail at: MaxHolt@ArmySignalOCS.com


by LTC (R) Max Holt, Class 02-67

January 2018

FAT, DUMB AND HAPPY!

LTC (R) Max Holt - TodayLTC (R) Max Holt

Many war stories start with those words. For instance: In August 1968, there I was, fat dumb and happy, at 9,000 feet over the mountains north of Pleiku, Vietnam, half finished with my second cup of coffee, when the number one engine Fire Warning sounded on my U-21 aircraft. I declared an emergency and landed safely at the Pleiku Air Force Base. Turned out, the Fire Warning indicator was faulty.

And…in August 2017, there I was, fat dumb and happy, enjoying retired life, planning the 2017 OCS Reunion in D.C., and writing and publishing books, when Sandy got sick. As she got worse, several doctors couldn’t figure the exact nature of her illness. One thought it was a cold. Another thought it was a bad sinus infection. Her lymph nodes were so swollen and painful that she couldn’t lay on a pillow. One day, I tried all day to get her to eat, but she was so exhausted that she could hardly raise her head. When I brought in some dinner, I couldn’t wake her, so I called 911. In the ER, they measured her Calcium level at 14.5. At 15…you are comatose. At 16…you are dead. The next morning, they did lymph node and bone marrow biopsies and then did a Lumbar Punch (spinal tap) to check the brain fluid.

The next day, Sandy was still mostly out of it. The oncologist took me aside and said that Sandy had Stage 4, Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s, Lymphoma. Since it was also detected in her bone marrow and brain fluid, he estimated only a 3% chance of recovery. At that moment, I think I would have experienced less fear in that U-21, even with an actual fire. Sandy was not aware enough for me to even tell her.

Even though she was very weak, the doctor said it was critical that they start fluids to decrease the calcium (the lymphoma had been pulling excess calcium from her bones) and start chemo treatments immediately, in both her blood system and in her spinal cord fluid. They treated her spinal cord and then did an 8-hour chemo treatment through an IV. After they sent her home, she continued to get worse, from the chemo side-effects. She developed mouth sores…her entire tongue, cheeks and down her throat were covered by one huge canker sore. I took her back to the doctor and he readmitted her for a week, just to treat the sores.

By now, we were both exhausted. One night, I was holding her as she cried and she said, “I can’t do this. Just let me go.” I held it together and told her that God had blessed these medical professionals with the skills to give her best chance of survival. We prayed and I asked God to work through them to heal her. I started phone and email prayer-chains with everyone I knew. We soon had friends and strangers all over the world, praying for God to bless us and heal her.

Within six weeks, we had spent 30 days in the hospital. Following her second round of chemo, she had a follow-up CT Scan. The oncologist brought the results into the room…he had a big smile on his face. The scan showed that the lymph nodes were back to normal size, going into remission! I was stunned! (Oh, me of little faith!) We cried and celebrated.  

On October 21, 2017, our 52nd Wedding Anniversary!...we were packing for another 5 days in the hospital, for her fourth round of Chemo. The fifth round came and went and during the recovery from it she got an infection with a 102.9 temperature and had to do another 6 days in the hospital, just to get rid of it. Now, with just a week out of the hospital, we are packing again for another 5 days inpatient to do the sixth, AND LAST, chemo treatment. We will get out just in time for the kids to get here for Christmas. We have done no shopping or decorating…but, who cares? She is still in remission!!...that’s gift enough!

Sandy has lost her hair and 30 pounds of weight. When we finish, it will have totaled 62 days in the hospital, since August 8th. The bill is already ½ million $, and climbing. Praise the Lord for Medicare and TriCare for Life! Sandy is encouraged that we can look forward to a future together, however long it may be. We are indeed blessed…with our medical team…with our family close by…with friends like you, many of whom have been-there-done-that, and understand…with so many prayer partners around the world…and with a Heavenly Father, whose love and grace over-shadow us.

Looking back to day-one, I can see that the fear of the unknown we felt has been replaced with confidence that God has a purpose for us, and we are more focused now on full-filling it. Whatever the future holds for us, we lean more on the words in Jeremiah 29:11… “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; plans to help you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

My hope for all of you is a long future, filled with personal excellence and the satisfaction of a life lived well. I pray for your health and happiness. It is time to get out your Bucket List and get busy doing those things you have been putting off. Our New Year’s resolution is to dust off the RV and hit the road. No more excuses! Have a blessed 2018!

Max Holt, Class 02-67
Association Chaplain

 



Prior Month Devotionals
May '11 Jun '11 Jul '11 Aug '11 Sep '11 Oct '11 Nov '11 Dec '11 Jan '12 Feb '12 Mar '12 Apr '12
May '12 Jun '12 Jul '12 Aug '12 Sep '12 Oct '12 Nov '12 Dec '12 Jan '13 Feb '13 Mar '13 Apr '13
May '13 Jun '13 Jul '13 Aug '13 Sep '13 Oct '13 Nov '13 Dec '13 Jan '14 Feb '14 Mar '14 Apr '14
May '14 Jun '14 Jul '14 Aug '14 Sep '14 Oct '14 Nov '14 Dec '14 Jan '15 Feb '15 Mar '15 Apr '15
May '15 Jun '15 Jul '15 Aug '15 Sep '15 Oct '15 Nov '15 Dec '15 Jan '16 Feb '16 Mar '16 Apr '16
May '16 Jun '16 Jul '16 Aug '16 Sep '16 Oct '16 Nov '16 Dec '16 Jan '17 Feb '17 Mar '17 Apr '17
May '17 Jun '17 Jan '18 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Click the picture below to listen to The Lord's Jukebox... a compilation of all of the devotional music posted since May 2011.

The Lord's Jukebox


Top of Page

 

Original Site Design and Construction By John Hart. Ongoing site design and maintenance courtesy Class 09-67.
Content and design Copyright 1998 - 2018, by ArmySignalOCS.com. Page updated 02/01/18.