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CBN.com Engage the enemy. That’s what a marine does.
“The mission is to keep an eye out for insurgents and let the people know we’re there for them.”
Encounter three or four bombs. It’s all in a day’s work.
“Day in day out, it’s like living in a fighting hole.”
Roadside bombs not only injure one in five marines during a six-month deployment, they also kill. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Tony Stevens has encountered 11 roadside bombs during his tours of duty in Iraq. That’s more than any other American soldier in the war on terror.
“I’ve not been injured one time,” says Stevens. “I’ve had a lot of close calls but thank God I haven’t been injured.”
A former shortstop in the Minnesota Twins minor league system, Tony turned his attention from baseball to the Marine Corps after September 11, 2001. His new bride, Sarah, had little time to prepare.
Sarah says, “We met and were married five months later. Three weeks after that he was headed for Iraq. He was already in the military but I had no reference what that type of life was like.”
But Tony did. Soon he was right in the middle of war.
Stevens says, “We got out and started taking some small armfire, and from there our job is to engage the enemy.”
Tony views the danger, the separation from family, and the sacrifice simply. It’s his job. Nothing too philosophical. And the only reason he believes he survived all those roadside bombs is . . .
“Oh, a lot of prayer. Everyday, day in day out,” he says. “I have a lot of family praying for me, a lot of church family. I can tell a lot of people are praying for me.”
How do you tell?
“God gives you an ease when you’re out there. It’s hard to explain. You have to be over there to feel it.”
As a military wife, Sarah stands beside her husband although he’s half a world away.
“I told people when he first got there that it seems like a dangerous place but that’s where God wants Tony to be. So it seems to be the safest place for Tony to be,” she says.
After serving in the Marine Corps for three tours of duty in Iraq, and after surviving a record 11 roadside bombs, Tony is back home with Sarah, starting a family, and seeing which direction his life will go. You want to bet it’s not going to be boring!
He says, “God brought me back alive, and there’s a reason for that.”
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