The fact is that huge budget deficits undermine the foundation of the United States and global economy. Responsible fiscal policy is the only way to give America a prosperous future.
See How The Federal Deficit With Hundreds of Trillions of Dollars in Unfunded Liabilities Puts Us At Risk. This is a moral issue as a free world needs a prosperous America.
On August 22nd, at the Center for Pastoral Leadership, the Cleveland Catholic Forum will present the Cleveland Catholic Forum Award of Service & Valor to Sergeant Randolph Kloos. Here is his amazing story:
Sergeant Randolph Thomas Kloos is an American hero, right from our own backyard in Cleveland. He serves his country and God with love, courage, and strength throughout his enlistment in the United States Army.
Randy volunteered for the United States Army after the September 11th terrorist attacks. He loved his country and he wanted to defend it. He talked a lot about this decision with his family, in particular his mom, Janet. She feared terribly for her son and was resistant to the idea of him enlisting, but given his drive to serve, she was moved to bless her son’s enlistment. Randy Kloos’ family fell to their knees to beg for God’s protection of their son.
In his first tour of duty in Iraq, he served in the 1st Infantry Division. He saw some of the bloodiest fighting in the war, going house to house, looking for terrorists with orders to capture or kill them. He was shot at and threatened with death from rockets, suicide bombers, or roadside bombs on a daily basis. He exercised extreme restraint and courage; not firing shots at the enemy if there was a very real possibility of harming innocent civilians. He saw the worst of war: murdered innocent Iraqi citizens and children, dead friends, killed brothers in arms. He used his faith and his love of God and country to get through these difficult times.
In LCpl Andrew S. Kloos’, US Marine Corps (Ret.), Randy’s brother, words:
“He always carried himself as a representative for our culture to the Iraqi people. He proved his loyalty to helping the Iraqi people by defending their neighborhoods, training Iraqi soldiers and giving medical treatment to wounded Iraqis. He also cared for the needy in Iraq by giving them food and water. He even reached out to the Iraqi children giving them candy and soccer balls. Before Randy left for Iraq my father told him that no matter what happens in Iraq - God will decide when you will meet him and nothing else. I believe these words of wisdom enabled Randy to show courage under fire and the ability to save his fellow soldiers when by doing so put himself in peril.”
Yet, his love of country and his courage to serve it and protect the men under his command is only one-half of the story. His faith, personal sacrifice, and character is the rest of the story.
Randy trained at a U.S base in Germany for his fighting in Iraq. During this time he met a woman by the name of Chantel and he fell deeply in love with her. He then served his 1st tour of duty in Iraq, and afterward, got engaged. Then before returning to Iraq, he got married at an old Catholic Church in Bavaria that escaped the ravages of World War II. His son, Dean, was born on December 27, 2008. He got to see his wife and newborn son for 2 weeks, and then he headed back to Iraq. He never really complained about this, despite the drag on his heart of not being able to physically be there for his wife and son. He is also deeply missed his family back home in America.
Amidst all of this, Randy went into combat zones daily. His father, Jim Kloos, told us a story how when out on a mission, his son saw that an Iraqi woman was bleeding to death. Randy then put his life at risk to administer first aid to her and he saved her life. Had he not done so she would be dead. He risked his life to save hers. It is acts of love such as this that show the true magnitude of his character.
Faith is what has sustained Randy through these difficult times. He takes his Catholic faith seriously. He is a graduate of St. Edward High School and a member of St. Mark’s Parish. Even as a kid, if his classmates were goofing off during Mass or saying negative comments about the faith, he would correct them. While serving in Iraq, Randy has carried a small pocket-sized Bible with him into combat. He has read from it in the midst of war, giving himself courage and giving courage to the men around him. On Sundays he often had to go into combat and wasn’t able to go to church, his pocket-sized Bible was the next best thing. He read from it for courage, love and inspiration.
He often talks with his brothers in arms about faith and God’s love. There is a young man in Randy’s unit who does not believe in God. The soldier was spared on six occasions coming within inches from death. The sixth time the soldier dodged death, Randy screamed to him shortly after, “Do you believe in God NOW?!”
Randy served his 1st tour of duty in the First Infantry Division. Today he is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq in the Alpha Company 1-2, Task Force 366, in the 174th Brigade.
He is a man of tremendous courage, faith, and love. He embodies what a United States solider is and should be. He gives hope to all of us for a better America through his sacrifice and the magnitude of his character. For his service, leadership and sacrifice, he is highly deserving of the Cleveland Catholic Forum Award of Service and Valor. We at the Cleveland Catholic Forum look forward to giving him this award, through his family, on August 22nd, while he is still valiantly serving our country in Iraq.
When is The Event:
Saturday, August 22, 2009
6:30 PM - Open Bar & Silent Auction Start
7:00 PM - Dinner & Music
After Dinner - Award Ceremoney & Keynote Address by Archbishop Timothy Broglio
Center for Pastoral Leadership Founder’s Room 28700 Euclid Avenue Wickliffe, OH 44092
How to Reserve Seats:
Tickets are $50 per person, a 100% tax-deductible donation, and may be reserved by going to ClevelandCatholicForum.com, or by calling Joe Soltis at 440-623-9183.
I, myself, have never been in battle, or seen the horrors of war. Yet, in the process of searching for the recipient of the Cleveland Catholic Forum’s Award of Service & Valor, I have talked with several soldiers, several brothers and sisters, and many moms and dads, who have sent their beloved off to war. Many of the stories have moved me deeply and ignited in my heart a more fervent respect for the American solider. Here are some questions to ask ourselves to show us how grateful we should be.
Did you enlist in the war simply because you wanted to defend your country after 9/11?
Have you accepted, willingly and knowingly, that daily you could lose your life in service of your country and loved ones?
Have you put yourself in the line of fire, and put yourself in more risk than truly necessary simply to better protect the lives of the soldiers under your command?
Did you see your friends blown up around you?
In the midst of a battle, with explosions around you, did you stop fighting to save the life of an Iraqi woman, who would have been killed by extremists?
Have you been to hell for months at a time, and kept your faith in God and helped to strengthen the faith of those around you?
These questions reflect the hard truth of what really has happened in this war on terrorism. All of them inspiring. You won’t really find a word about it in the press - maybe only if they had lost their own life in battle. Yet these are the real daily lives of tens of thousands of men and women who have been valiantly doing their duty for our country, while we have enjoyed the peacefulness of our daily lives and the richness that America provides.
Most Americans have a deep thankfulness in their hearts to the men and women of the United States military. My friends, it’s time to let that be known. Say thank you to a soldier, for I tell you this: you owe them your life, your job, your home, your faith, and your freedoms. They are protecting you. At a minimum, you owe them a thank you, a prayer, and maybe a nice cold beer!
So with gratitude deep in my heart, I say:
Dear American Solider,
May God Bless you. May God protect you and our beloved nation. My beloved wife and kids sleep in peace at night because of you. I owe you my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Joe Soltis, An American