Carrying two military banners… Carr serving in U.S. Army while also fighting battles on the Christian firing line

Published 12:52 pm Friday, June 26, 2020

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Carter County resident Josh Carr is a soldier in more ways than one as Carr not only serves his country in the United States Army but also serves as a soldier in the Lord’s Army as a minister.
From the outside looking in, it might appear that the two could possibly but heads but Carr has been able to make both work hand in hand utilizing his military skills on foreign soil in Kuwait while also finding a way to be inspirational to those around him as a soldier of faith.
Just a few months ago, Carr was deployed to Kuwait for a nine-month tour having to leave behind his wife, Haley, and his sons, five-year-old Samuel and three-year-old Noah.
From the perspective of being a soldier, it was just business as usual but as a husband and father, the emotions of being separated from one’s family are the most challenging.
But through his faith and relationship with God, Carr was able to use the time of separation to build on his Christian walk.
“My nine-month deployment to Kuwait was a challenge both mentally and spiritually,” Carr said. “Leaving my wife and two boys were so hard emotionally just being away from their daily lives was a test, but God was my sustainer throughout the whole deployment.
“Even though I was separated from my family it drew me closer to God and enhanced my walk with him.”
Carr has served in the Army for three and a half years and has experienced so much in that time from his training in the Mojave Desert at Fort Erwin, Calif., to his time in Kuwait.
For Carr, serving one’s country is an important step for anyone who so chooses to do so.
“I believe choosing to enlist and serving is an honorable decision anyone can make — it takes dedication and courage to go and defend the freedom we have and so often take for granted,” Carr stated.
“Oftentimes we focus on the negative of what’s going on in our country when instead we should be thinking of the blessings we have and be willing to defend it if the need arises.”
Many may be asking themselves how a minister could serve in the military when there exists the opportunity to be involved in wartime battles which may ultimately result in death.
For Carr, the opportunity has opened a mission field as a minister while serving in the capacity of an Army soldier.
“I think being a minister and a soldier go hand and hand,” Carr added. “Paul tells us in the Bible, ‘I will endure hardship as a good soldier for Jesus Christ.’
“God calls us to be soldiers and to defend our faith. Being a minster and a soldier has helped me reach many fellow servicemen and women throughout my military career.
“Not only am I defending our freedom, but I’m also defending my liberty and freedom through Christ.”
With the economy and lack of jobs existing in society today, many young people coming out of high school continue to choose the path of joining a branch of the military and many decide after enlisting to make it a career.
While many may be debating whether or not to commit to serving, Carr was asked what his advice to a young person or anyone thinking about enlisting in the armed services would be.
“My advice to anyone joining the military is discipline and respect,” Carr commented. “Remember, you are joining a fighting force that has a distinguished and honorable history that you are willing to take part in.
“Respect your superiors and be disciplined in all you do. This advice has strengthened me and will take you far.”
In three and a half years of service, Carr has had the opportunity to experience much while in the military. In all of his time of service, Carr was asked what has been the greatest experience for him.
“My greatest military experience was being able to lead a unit Bible study in Kuwait,” said Carr. “It was a great opportunity to share God’s word with other soldiers and see them grow over the nine months we were deployed.”
Being a father to two boys and another one on the way, many fathers enjoy seeing their children follow in their footsteps when they grow up to an age where they too can enlist in the military.
For Carr, he sees it as his responsibility to share with his sons the experiences that he has had in the military but ultimately allow them to decide what they want to do when reaching the age to make that decision.
Carr knows about following in the family footsteps as his brother completed six years in the Air Force and his father, Jim, also was in the Air Force.
“Ultimately my children will choose their own path in life but I don’t shy away from teaching them about what I’ve learned in the military and the importance of freedom and democracy we have,” Carr stated. “So, no matter if they join or not I just want my kids to know about God and His love for us, and the love He has had for our nation.
“I want my kids to serve God and be soldiers for Christ.”
During recent times while the United States has been going through turmoil with the COVID-19 pandemic and riots over racial issues, there have been times that the American flag has been seen set on fire and burnt by those that the military has fought and died for to give America its independence.
Carr was asked how that seeing these scenes play out has personally affected him especially knowing that he now is serving to protect the same flag and country.
“I’m direct when it comes to how our flag and country are treated,” Carr stated. “It’s appalling to see our flag disrespected in so many ways.
“Throughout our history thousands and thousands of people have shed blood on home and foreign soil to see the flag continue to stand. As Americans, especially Christian Americans, we need to make a resolve that we are a blessed nation and that God has divinely lead us though a Revolution, Civil War, two global conflicts and so much more.
“If we fail to stand as Americans, then we have neglected our greatest duty to support the freedom God has given us.”
One might ask how Carr could separate being both a member of the United States Army and the Lord’s Army, especially when serving in a deployed state where the American military must respect the religions of other countries that they are serving in.
Carr would be the first to tell you that the military trains you to be a fighter in conflict but that the Bible is filled with instances where great men served God and fought in battle as well.
“Being a soldier is a tough job but being a minister has in reality helped me more than hinder me,” commented Carr. “Soldiers are trained to fight and many have asked how can a Minister train to fight in conflicts and battles and still hold on to the biblical principles.
“For my answer, I turn to the scriptures and stories of men in the Bible like Joshua or Gideon, great men of faith who were warriors and military leaders — like me they had learned the values and morals of serving God but when the time came to fight they fought knowing God was guiding them through the battle.
“War is an awful thing that came about from sin entering the world but God can use war to achieve the goals He has in mind and I wanna be a part of God’s plan to see our military come to revival and realize that in order for America’s military to be powerful and strong it needs God, not more planes, tanks or bullets.
“We need God’s mighty hand to be our weapon against the enemies who threaten our freedom.”
Carr and his family attend Roan Street Church of God where they are active in ministry.

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