84-year-old Milton Christian received a Bronze Star on Tuesday for his “heroic service” in World War II. It’s a belated honor, but a well-deserved one:
From 1943 to 1946 Christian served as a machine gunner with the 29th Infantry Division. He doesn’t consider himself a hero, although his collection of medals tells another story — Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign medal, Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Honorable Service Lapel Button, Marskman Badge — ribbons he says he earned simply doing his job, protecting his fellow soldiers.
The highlight of the article, though, is when Christian talks about the toughest times during the war:
“They say there are no atheists in foxholes. But as we sat in those holes, praying that God would save us, I thought about the fact that the other side was doing the same thing. And then I wondered if God is just playing some kind of game with us. Pretty much I decided at that point there was no God,” Christian said.“For the rest of my life, I’ve tried to do the right thing. I raised a beautiful bunch of kids — and they truly are my greatest accomplishment. So I’m not worried about what’s next. If there is a God, I think he’ll know that I just did the best I could. That’s all a man can do.”
Some people (mistakenly) say there are no atheists in foxholes.
Milton Christian became an atheist while sitting in one.
How awesome is that.