Pictured at the recent enrollment are Captain Shevaun Malone, Sara Gilmore, Sean Gilmore, Dwayne Sutherland, Jamikus McKelphin, Tiffany Burns and Hallie Burns. Todd and Patrick Ortega will be enrolled at a later date.
The Victor Valley Corps, under the leadership of Captains Joseph and Catherine Whipple, is actively meeting the needs of youth and those serving our country in the military.
Over the past few months, five junior soldiers have been enrolled. During the ceremony, Captain Shevaun Malone charged each young person to grow spiritually and to read their Bibles daily. She also challenged the congregation to pray for the young people.
Each youth completed junior soldier training classes, led by YPSM Sara Gilmore and each made a commitment to Jesus. After the enrollment, the children presented a Korean drum dance. “Teaching the children different ways to worship the Lord is important,” said Gilmore.
Capt. Cathy stated that when they arrived in Victor Valley only three children attended the corps. “With the Gilmores taking over the leadership of the children we now have 13 attending and sometimes more. The Gilmores have a vision to see the youth ministry grow in Victor Valley, and are a great asset to the corps.” CSM Shane Gilmore, who also helps his wife, Sara, with the youth, is in the National Guard and was in Iraq for most of 2004.
The corps has found practical ways to support those in the service. Nine families have loved ones in the military or National Guard. Ron Harbeson, whose grandson was serving in Iraq, suggested a photo display with each of the soldier’s pictures and rank. Family members brought in their loved ones’ photos to put on the board.
Each week the church bulletin prints the names of the family members and where they are serving. Once, the corps had four serving in Iraq at the same time. Ron also suggested that they collect items to send to each serviceman with a “thank you.” Soon a barrel was overflowing with writing pads, envelopes, food items, socks, wipes, and such. One Saturday morning Ron, Jim, who has a grandson in the service, Mae, who has two sons serving in the Marines, and Capts. Joe and Cathy Whipple, who have two sons serving in the Army, put the boxes together, along with a War Cry and a spiritual tract, and mailed them.
“We cannot thank our soldiers enough for fighting for freedom,” said Harbeson. “We will continue to send packages every few months.”