Page 19 - Senior Times South Central Michigan October 2020 - 27-10
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 “I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4 (NLT)
heart, I have overcome the world.” The One speaking is Jesus. [John 16:33]. And he speaks this word of hope before he himself is killed by the authorities! He knows that at the end of everything God wins! And His winning over sin and death itself has direct implications for your life and mine.
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When I began this column for Senior Times over ten years ago, I intentionally chose the name “Faith Matters.” OK, so it’s a play on words, but it really is the truth. All kinds of faith truly matter! Faith in God to begin with, which leads to faith in yourself and then can actually lead to having faith and trust in other people, even when you’ve been burned in the past.
I believe that there is great comfort in knowing three truths:
1. The One who created everything
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Faith in God is the kind of thing that can give you solid grounding in the middle of the chaos of living in a 21st Century world.
2. He has made your future secure, and at the same time has taken the definitive action to repair the bro- ken world in which we live.
If you want to find something
to disappoint you in this world you don’t have to look very far, correct? Actually, from a historical perspec- tive, it’s always been this way. We live in a world of chaos.
3. Even as you are reading these words, this One not only is reaching out to you through His Spirit, but is also waiting for your response every day.
However, a very wise man with whom I’m privileged to have a rela- tionship said it this way, “In this world, you’re always going to have trouble...” (which is very disap- pointing, disconcerting, and frankly depressing). Thankfully, he finished that thought by saying, “But take
Continue to join me in looking for signs of hope and reasons to believe and have faith in spite of what the world tells you. What I hope to share through this column is a way of look- ing at and living your life that can bring you some hope ... even a little is better than none... and get you thinking about some things that truly matter in the long run.
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The Department of Veterans Affairs, through its National Cemetery Administration, operates and cares for 148 national cemeteries and 33 sol- dier’s lots throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. A common miscon- ception is that Arlington National Cemetery is a part of the VA, but it is under the care of the Department of the Army through its Office of Army Cemeteries. Only six states do not have a national cemetery or a soldier’s lot (Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wyoming).
There are specific groups who may be eligible for burial in a national ceme- tery if they meet certain criteria. These groups include U.S. citizens who
serve in the armed forces of an ally during war, members of the National Guard and Reserves, members of a Reserve Officer Training Corps pro- gram, commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and of the Public Health Service, World War II Merchant Mariners, Philippine Armed Forces Veterans, and Hmong Veterans.
In Michigan, the VA operates Fort Custer National Cemetery (Augusta), Great Lakes National Cemetery (Holly), Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery (Mackinac Island), and Lakeside Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot (Port Huron). Of these four cemeteries, only Fort Custer and Great Lakes have open burial space. If you have never been to Fort Custer National Cemetery, located immediately west of Battle Creek, I would recommend going there. Established as Fort Custer Post Cemetery on September 18, 1943, it provides a beautiful, yet somber place to reflect.
There are conditions that make fam- ily members ineligible for burial in a national cemetery. Non-veteran former spouses of Veterans are not eligible if the marriage to the Veteran was termi- nated through annulment or divorce. Family members are not eligible if a Veteran has been convicted of sub- versive activities. Likewise, a Veteran found guilty of subversive activity is not eligible unless pardoned by the President of the United States. While
a dishonorable discharge disqualifies an individual to be buried in a national cemetery, a VA Regional Office will review Veterans who have an unde- sirable, bad conduct, or any discharge other than honorable. Other conditions that void a Veteran’s eligibility are being found guilty of a capital crime or being convicted of certain sex offenses.
Those who can be buried in a national cemetery include Veterans who did not receive a dishonorable discharge, service members who die on active duty (including active and inactive duty for training), the spouse or minor child of a Veteran, and in some instances unmarried adult dependent children.
If you have any questions related to burial in a national cemetery or other burial benefits, please do not hesitate to contact Calhoun County Veterans Affairs. We can be contacted at (269) 969-6734 or by e-mail at
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Senior Times - October 2020
Page 19
Stacey Lott
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Rev. Dr. James Gysel, Special to Senior Times
Serving our
Aaron D. Edlefson, Special to Senior Times
is also the One who chooses to stand by your side and be with you through everyhing.
Faith matters! And in a very real way for me, and those two words say it all.
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Faithfully yours, Jim Gysel

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