Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Father's Heart

             Several months ago I was contacted by the father of Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL who was killed in Benghazi along with former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty. I had a most delightful conversation with Charles Woods, a retired judge.

Mr. Woods called me to discuss the article, “Courageous,” I had written immediately following the Benghazi travesty which was published October 3, 2012. A friend, who is a family member of one of the four Americans killed that day by Islamic thugs, had provided me with the initial information which I then wove into the article, highlighting the bravery of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Like many of you, I had seen Mr. Woods on FOX News being interviewed quite a number of times. From the FOX interviews it was clear to me that this man was a man who had his faith placed solidly in Jesus. During my first phone conversation with him back in the spring his strong faith in the Lord was abundantly evident. “You see,” he said, “Ty was not just a number – he was a real person.”

On the subject of forgiveness, Sean Hannity of FOX News asked Tyrone’s three teenaged half-sisters, Joy, Faith, and Hope, this question, “Can you forgive?” referring to forgiving the Islamists who killed their brother. One sister responded, “As a Christian we should act how Jesus would want us to act.” The question of forgiveness came up in my talk with Mr. Woods as well. He said to me, “I have forgiven those in (Benghazi) Libya, and in Washington D.C.” That’s quite a statement in light of the serious questions that remain as to the possible mishandling of the Benghazi affair from a host of players within our government.

Last weekend, Bret Baier from FOX News interviewed three of the surviving members from Benghazi, security team members, Kris (“Tanto”) Paronto (former Army Ranger), Mark (“Oz”) Geist, and John (“Tig”) Tiegen (both former Marines). They partnered with author Mitchell Zuckoff, producing a book that was released September 9, entitled, “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.” These men were ordered to “stand down” from aiding Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other three who all died in the ensuing battle. The order apparently was given by the top CIA officer in Benghazi.

I waited a couple of days after this news special, and then I called Mr. Woods to basically see how he was taking this information. I’m pleased to report that I came away from the conversation uplifted and blessed by him!

The following story is one which Mr. Woods shared with me during the phone conversation we had the other night. Because of what happened to his son, Tyrone, you might expect Mr. Woods to hate Muslims. This should give you a good idea of this man’s character and faith. Little wonder that his son became the man he did. In 1985 Mr. Woods felt he should go on a mission trip which found him in Northern Uganda, Africa. He and others from their team were hiking into some remote areas when they were accosted by a band of Muslims. Fear and intimidation are the tactics used by these guys, except that it didn’t seem to bother Mr. Woods. One of the Muslims, noticing the calm demeanor exhibited by Mr. Woods despite the threats, said to one of the other team members, “This one doesn’t seem to be afraid.” When Mr. Woods was then questioned by this Muslim man as to why he was not afraid, he replied, “If I were to kill you, I know you would not go to heaven. But if you killed me, I know I would go to heaven.”

Concerning the loss of his son, he said, “This is just a brief interruption before I see him again.” It is this strength of faith in Jesus that enables Mr. Woods to carry on. He demonstrates a father’s love and heart, just as God out Heavenly Father demonstrates toward us, offering us eternal life through his Son, Jesus.

Tyrone is buried in a national cemetery in the San Diego area. But in Hawaii, on the Big Island, Mr. Woods told me that a Milo Tree was planted in Ty’s honor and memory in the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery. I asked him why this tree. He said that it is commonly believed that this tree lives forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

typo our
heart, just as God out Heavenly Father demonstrates toward us,

next to last paragraph

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-Cheers

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