Local News

Fort Bragg Leader Asks Wilson Church to Pray for Troops

Posted June 17, 2007 7:32 p.m. EDT

— The commander of the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg took on a different kind of mission Sunday – rallying support for the troops at a Wilson church.

Lt. General Lloyd Austin spoke to the congregation at his father-in-law’s church, St. John AME Zion, about family, service and sacrifice.

It’s a community that knows about sacrifice. Three Army soldiers from Wilson and Nash County have died in Iraq since 2005.

Austin is in charge of 50,000 men and women who make up the 18th Airborne.

“Let us never forget the people behind the memory of our honored dead, and that willingness to sacrifice for the cause of a freedom is a part of our country’s great history and the hope of its great future,” Austin said.

Church leaders asked the military leader to speak to the congregation.

“The church is about family,” said Rev. Michael Bell. “So when you have the Lieutenant general who’s in charge of thousands of families, why not have him to come?”

Austin told the congregation that about half of the 50,000 troops under his command are deployed overseas. He asked church members to pray for those still serving. It was an order they were more than willing to follow.