Jeff shares his experience while living the real-life events that became the movie Black Hawk Down. Jeff, one of the Rangers in that battle in Mogadishu, tells how he overcame the fear of death and got a new perspective on life that day.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, on October 3rd, 1993, Army Ranger Jeff Struecker put on every piece of protective gear he had, but nothing would shield him more from a 17-hour firefight than his bulletproof faith. It was in Mogadishu, Somalia, that bullets and rocket-propelled grenades took the life of 18 American soldiers in a mission to capture a warlord that was turning his homeland into a humanitarian disaster.
You may have seen the movie “Black Hawk Down” and decided for yourself whether that real-life battle was about American victory or defeat. But one of the brave young soldiers who fought that fight and survived looks at it in a different way.
(I’ve included a few lines from this interview–there is a link to the full interview below:)
STRUECKER: Well, during the course of the battle, about an hour or two into the fight, I picked up a soldier, Todd Blackburn (ph), took him back to the airfield where we were staying. And on the ride back, one of the men in my vehicle, one of my men, Dominick Pilla (ph), was shot and killed. And when I arrived back at the airfield, I thought to myself that I was going to die and all of them men that I was working with were going to die. The situation was just so intense.
And at that moment, I had nothing left to go to, nowhere to find strength except my faith, and my faith — really, at that moment, I prayed and asked God to give me strength. My faith in Christ really gave me the strength that I needed to go back out into the city a second and a third time. And from that moment on, I realized, “You know what? My faith has made such a difference for me tonight, I want to do what’s possible to share my faith and to tell as many other soldiers as possible about how faith can make a difference for them in a battle.”……………………
PHILLIPS: Wow. So during this situation and even after Mogadishu, did you find a lot of soldiers coming to you and searching for answers, asking about “Is there a God? Where is the God?” And if so, how did — what did you tell them?
Thank you to all of you who serve our country. May God’s peace and strength be with you. To those of us grieving the loss of our loved ones this weekend–May God’s peace and strength be with you as well.
And May We Be Encouraged.