In the midst of war, soldiers look for something to cling to. Many choose their families who are waiting for them back home. Others turn to their faith. One brave American soldier fighting in an Iraqi war zone took that exact moment to proclaim his dedication to Jesus Christ.
The Euphrates River is the only river mentioned in both the Old and New Testament and therefore is strongly associated with God and Christianity for millions of believers around the world. For the solider severing in Rawa, Iraq, it was more than just an incredible religious symbol.
It was an opportunity. Wind conditions of 36 mph and the water was 46 degrees Fahrenheit while waves rolled across the surface of the Euphratesas and soldiers stood on the bank, barely able to see through the think fog. The wind, dust and mist from the river was actually welcomed, as it created a low visibility environment that kept the group of men covered.
The group gathered in a close circle, where a chaplain explained that they do not get baptized in order to be saved, but they get baptized because they are saved. Video footage shows the solider, chaplain and squad leader stripping away their heavy boots and preparing together. They dropped their weapons and armor and headed straight into the river, right in the midst of a country that was torn apart by the acts of Islamic extremists.
It was there that the solider was baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and publicly professed his dedication and love for Jesus Christ. While he may have stepped out of the water and returned to a war zone, he was able to do so with a new, invigorated spirit, one fueled with a hope and strength that would surely help him in the months to come.