A Hero Passes On
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast
On January 1, 2003, at age 87, a legend and a true American hero passed on to his eternal reward.
Joe Foss was a beloved personal friend of 30 years and a great American. He was a World War II hero and Congressional Medal of Honor winner who later became governor of South Dakota, where he served two terms. In addition, he became the first president of the American Football League, president of the National Rifle Association, and was the television host of the American Outdoorsmen and the American Sportsmen programs, as well as a successful businessman. He was an unusually outstanding man.
During the war, Joe led a U. S. Marine air unit known as "Joe's Flying Circus" that shot down 72 Japanese planes. He downed 26 planes himself, tying the U.S. aerial record set by Eddie Rickenbacker in World War I. A 1943 Life magazine cover proclaimed him "America's No. 1 Ace."
Joe was featured prominently in Tom Brokaw's popular book "The Greatest Generation." Brokaw wrote, "He had a hero's swagger but a winning smile to go with his plain talk and movie-star looks. Joe Foss was larger than life, and his heroics in the skies over the Pacific were just the beginning of a journey that would take him to places far from that farm with no electricity and not much hope north of Sioux Falls."
In addition to the Congressional Medal of Honor, he had also been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, Silver Star and Purple Heart. He also served as an Air Force colonel during the Korean War. In 1984, he was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio.
Thanks to Joe and people like him, we still enjoy our freedoms today and are able to have the liberty to help fulfill the Great Commission.
But Joe knew, and we all know, that all of his earthly achievements, medals, citations, political and other offices and honors will not amount to one cent in heaven. There, Joe has only one boast; that is, while on earth he received Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. This act of faith and commitment, and not his honors, qualifies him for eternal blessings and all the riches of God's Kingdom.
Joe once said that even though he has had many amazing experiences in his life, the greatest of all was coming to know Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
Joe Foss was recently received in heaven, not because of what he did, but because of what Jesus did.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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