Jude Prather

Life's Journey -- Jude Prather, Councilman and Veteran

 While on active duty at Ft. Bragg, N.C., I saw a wounded dog on the roadside. A three man team of MPs looked down at the dog; neither dog nor men moved--I thought at the time, "they are remembering dogs they had seen dying in their childhood days. Then, a GI green poncho was brought forward so they could move the fatally-injured dog.  Would the dog bite? Caution was being used. One could not help but feel a lump in the throat -- the olive drab uniforms, the military vehicle, the look of despair on the young men's faces as they attempted to tend the dog. . .

    Yes, it was "only a dog" but it brought back memories that were still fresh from war; and I saw instead a man lying on the earth before me. In "real time" that night some adult would need to explain to their children that their family dog, Missy, was not coming home. I thought, "How much more difficult for spouses to explain to their children the loss of their loved one to war!"

    My journey over the next four columns will focus on veterans, those who live "Service to the Nation." Veterans sacrifice and suffer, both in war and peace. No one knows this better than Jude Prather, local Veterans Service Officer for Hays County, a veteran of Operation: Iraqi Freedom, serving with the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment from 2008-2009. He is a 2010 graduate of Texas State University with a BA in Public Administration and a minor in History. As a public serrvant he is well respected and has been twice elected to the City Council.

    Soldiering is contradictive.  The dictionary definition of contradictive is 'assertion of the contrary or opposite, denial.'  Jude is thoughtful about the Old Testament's experience of rebellion and violence contrasted to the love and grace of the New Testament. Jude said, "I can't provide an 

answer, I can't solve the issue. I can only ask for forgiveness. My daily prayer is, 'Lord, be with all the soldiers around the world and provide peace with our enemies.'"

    A favorite scripture comes from 1Corinthians 13: 3-8:

". . . but if I have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered; it keeps no recod of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

    Jude is married to Cathy Martinez Prather and is a member of First Baptist Church on McCarty Lane.

Brother Jim Lanning --- San Marcos Daily Record, 16 October 2016