Top Gun helps Gunfighters understand true freedom
By Senior Airman Benjamin Sutton, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 20, 2011
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Retired Navy Capt. Roy Cash, Silver Star recipient, former Top Gun commander and nephew of country music legend Johnny Cash, spoke at the Gunfighter Club here July 8.
The Protestant community of Liberty Chapel designed the event to encourage men to truly think about God's role in our true freedoms and why the sacrifices made for that freedom are necessary and justified.
"A perfect example of this justification is the celebration of July 4th, which stands as a reminder that this nation's freedoms and very survival were purchased by the service and sacrifice of its many heroes the veterans." explained Cash. "The veterans do not love or advocate war because they know the true cost and will inevitably endure the deepest wounds."
As a veteran, Cash understands full well what the cost or price of freedom is. He was awarded his Silver Star in combat by downing an enemy MiG-21, and was later shot down himself over Haiphong harbor where he was saved by a rescue swimmer who had been air dropped from a helicopter. The combination of these events solidified what God's purpose in his life truly was.
"I looked up and said, 'Lord if you get me out of this, I'm yours,' and he did," stated Cash. "When you really get down to it, in my opinion, our freedoms come from God and are protected and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and Declaration of Independence."
During the event, Cash quoted many instances where our fore fathers and veterans such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams used biblical doctrine as a guide in understanding what true freedom is.
"Hearing our fore father's quotes about faith inspires me to become more faithful as well as thankful of the freedoms I have," said Staff Sgt. Nathan L. Jackson, 366th Fighter Wing staff, Non commissioned Officer in Charge of Wing Knowledge Operations. "As a Christian, you go through your trials and tribulations, and listening to someone as noteworthy as Captain Cash speaking about having the same issues is relieving in a way. Even veterans can sometimes take for granted the God-given freedoms we, as Americans, enjoy, but our actions when times are tough determine the outcome."
Regardless of what the outcome may be, Cash continually emphasized his point that true freedom can only be found in and lived through God.
"This man is a hero, and yet is incredibly humble about his service," said Staff Sgt. Edward Buri, a chaplain's assistant with the 124th FW, Idaho Air National Guard. "It is great to listen to a leader who isn't afraid to show his faith and share his experiences which made him understand where his freedom truly comes from."
While Cash spoke to the men of MHAFB, his wife, Billie, also spoke at a ministry of encouragement women's event July 9. Along with being a military wife of 30 years she has continued to work as a conference retreat speaker and has been featured on Christian Broadcasting Network.
The 366th FW and the Protestant Community of Liberty Chapel want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Cash for their time and encouragement to the Gunfighter community.