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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 19: Serving God, Serving Your Country

Week 19: Serving God, Serving Your Country

Dr. Laney (alias Mr. Cool)I have found that a lot of people, mostly kids, have a distorted view of war. Some kids hear all their lives “do not kill” and grow up hating war, thinking that it falls under that commandment. Others play war, and run around shooting trees (the enemy), throwing rocks (grenades), and promoting themselves. Today I got the real story on war, because I spent it with Dr. Michael Laney; former Major in the U.S. Army, and current professor at Lee University. Interesting fact; before he enlisted in the Army, Dr. Laney taught a telecommunications class and had Magic Johnson as a student.

Dr. Laney grew up in a family that was a huge part of wars over the years, with his father being a rocket scientist and fighting in the wars of Vietnam and Korea, his two brothers becoming an infantry soldier and an engineer officer, and of course fighting in the war himself as a telecommunications officer. And that was just his side of the family. His wife was a Major as well, her father was a Sergeant Major, her step-sister was a Captain in the Navy (as a nurse), her sister also served in the Navy, her brother was a Marine, and her brother-in-law served in the U.S.A.F. Now that’s what you call an enlisting family.

Michael served in the Army 20 years. He was a Pacifist, so he didn’t want to shoot anyone. Also, he wanted to do something in the Army that he could continue after he retired. (“What are some of your assets?” “Well, I’m a professional killer”) Yeah, right. That was why he settled on telecommunications. He could serve his country and help win wars without blowing up tanks. After serving for twenty years, he retired in 1995, right after operation Desert Storm. Through a series of incredible and divine happenings, Dr. Michael got a job at Lee as a telecommunications professor. In case you are wondering what that is, he basically teaches about TV, how to shoot video, satellite, fiber optics, AM and FM radio, etc.
Dr. Michael Laney
When he was done with the tale, Dr. Laney took me around the Lee campus. First, we walked to the studio , which actually used to be a conference room, and showed me around. There were actually three rooms, and they each had a microphone, a computer, and a lot of equipment that looked like it once belonged to NASA. Basically, Michael said, it looks exactly like a radio station, only without the broadcaster. In like fashion, Dr. Laney showed me his “haunts” around Lee University, explaining everything. After he finished the tour, I got to ask him questions.

I first asked if he had ever actually been in combat. He said that even though he carried a gun, he had never shot at anyone. The next question was why he joined the Army. He said that besides the fact that over half his family has been in the Military, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, he has always felt like he should give back to his country, and the Army is just one way to do that. Then I asked him what some of the most and least discerning moves he has ever made were. He replied saying that his best two decisions were to accept Christ as his personal savior and to marry his wife. The least wise two decisions he has made were when he didn’t ask God about investing in a product, and when he listened to his friends and not his wife and invested in the stock market. Moral of story; listen to God and your wife.

By now, it was time to go, so Dr. Laney walked me over to dad’s workplace. We swapped jokes until dad showed up, and then Dr. Laney left. But the day had planted seeds in my head that were about serving in the community, in the church, and in the military. My only question is this, though; can a person in the Army get paid for playing computer games?

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One Response to "Week 19: Serving God, Serving Your Country"

  1. Dr. Michael Laney says:


    I loved the story. I dropped by with a memento of our visit, an Army cap and wrist band.

    Be sure to honor your great Dad on Father’s Day!

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