The Flight Of A Golden Knight: Dana Bowman, The Unbeatable Soldier
Tract #13 of the Godly Warfare series
written by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr.
Copyright 2005 by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr. All publication rights and mass-reproduction rights are reserved to the author, but internet users are given permission to duplicate this digital file and distribute it without alteration to friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances. Distribution is encouraged, and the file may even be printed out on paper for paper copies, but the text must remain unaltered and the total number of printed copies for each individual tract should not exceed 10,000 unless you have gotten permission in writing from Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr. or a surviving member of his family. You may contact Ken Street (RKSJ) by e-mail using the web-mail addresses that follow: email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. Many more free teaching tracts by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr. will be found at the internet sites WorldwideChristianTracts.net, OnlineChristianTracts.org, and Christian-Tracts.net. This note must be retained on all duplicate copies that you may make.
All Soldiers of Christ should be made familiar with the record of one particularly brave hero of our world, an Army parachutist who encountered some major problems in his life when he one day penetrated the atmosphere of Earth in order to return to the surface of our planet. Dana Bowman had a big desire to see things high above the Earth, and he got a very different view from that perspective, but he got quite a shock upon his return to the world below.
The hero of this story is a real-life person of our Earth, an amazing adventurer named Dana Bowman. He is a U.S. Army veteran who has served as a member of the highly-acclaimed team of Army parachutists known as the Golden Knights. He has also served his Lord as a Soldier of Christ, and he has demonstrated an amazing faith in God during the process of his life's development. Having fought brilliantly in God's War against Satan, Dana Bowman has demonstrated perseverence and uncommon valor... with a courage that seems to rival that of the Bibliical champion named Caleb. He's also had to demonstrate the patience of Job, but like Job, he got through all his troubles without ever cursing God... and finally got even his lost family restored to him.
Sgt. First Class Dana Bowman was recently a soldier in the U. S. Army, and he has also been a believer in Christ, so he is likewise a member of God’s Army. In earlier years, he had been a Green Beret, and as part of that Special Forces unit, he had served on scuba, halo, and sniper teams. He was an extraordinarily brave fellow who was accustomed to the idea of putting himself in harm’s way, and he often risked his life, putting his life on the line a great many times. But after 15 years of such life in the Army, he decided that he wanted to be challenged still further— he had an aspiration to become part of the U. S. Army’s most elite and spectacular parachute team.
The name of this elite parachute team is ‘the Golden Knights.’ This team called the Golden Knights practices aero-demonstrations all over the world, in 50 different states and 45 different countries. Dana once said of them that “They are Goodwill Ambassadors, good speakers, good jumpers. They land right on target and they perform for our United States military.”
Before long, Dana’s dream was fulfilled, and he became part of this prestigious group called the Golden Knights, which is considered by many to be the best parachute team in the entire world.
Once every year, the Golden Knights would go to Yuma, Arizona, in order to practice their show-stunts for the upcoming seasons. In Yuma, they would do about 150 practice jumps and also choose their partners for the upcoming parachute demonstrations.
The maneuver that Dana and his partner were to perform is called the “Diamond Track,” and it is one in which two jumpers exit an airplane at an altitude of about 12,500 feet. As they simultaneously exit the airplane, each jumper pulls a smoke canister that is connected to his left leg, and the issue of smoke will allow the audience below to watch the progress of their aerial acrobatics.
They start by flying away from each other and gaining speeds of around 150 miles per hour. After the top half of the diamond is complete, they have to turn around, with each of them changing the direction of descent by a 90 degree angle. Then they have to fly back to each other and cross each other’s path, in order to finish the second half of the diamond pattern. The split-seconds and the weights all had to be precise in order for them to form a perfect diamond in the sky.
On Feb. 6, 1994, Dana and his partner Sgt. Jose Aguillon attempted the Diamond Track over the skies of Yuma, Arizona... and that was to be a fateful and disastrous day for both of them.
They were flying back to each other in order to finish the bottom half of the diamond, and they were supposed to cross safely at an altitude of approximately 4,500 - 3,500 feet, while remaining about 20 feet away from each other. Dana looked up and saw his partner above him, and for a split second he saw that Jose knew they were going to collide; he could see it in his eyes.
Dana was knocked unconscious at that point. Jose was in a free-fall until 750 feet, and then his automatic opening device deployed a parachute. But it wasn’t enough to save the life of Jose, who died 6 hours later.
Dana was unconscious when he hit the pavement of a parking lot, and his parachute was not properly deployed before the moment of impact. He was unconscious for the next two days. When he woke up in the hospital, his buddies were all around him and they told him, “Dana, Jose died, and on top of that, you lost both of your legs.”
* * * * * * * *
The doctors had amputated both of his legs. As you can see, Dana had penetrated the atmosphere of Earth— rather like the Columbia astronauts— but his return to Earth brought with it a shocking surprise, in the wake of this aerial disaster that just could not be averted.
Dana discovered that he had lost his best friend and both of his legs at the same time. Humans sometimes talk of “having one’s life cut off at the knees,” or of “having one’s legs cut off at both knees” when they speak of some catastrophe that ruins a person’s prospects for a happy life on Earth. Dana must have felt like that was just exactly what had happened to him.
Things went from bad to worse. Dana had gotten married just before he had joined the Golden Knights. He had already lost his best male friend and both of his legs, and he was learning to walk on two artificial legs. But now his wife decided to leave him, deserting him in his time of difficulty. He thus lost the woman who was supposed to be his other ‘best friend.’ Life was getting harder and harder.
Yet Dana did not give up, because he was a very brave man, with a courageous spirit and a strong faith in God. He had succeeded in the U. S. Army for a number of years, and he had even reached a prestigious position as one of the Golden Knights. He was determined that he would not surrender to the adversities that had been placed upon him, nor be overwhelmed by the obstacles that were placed before him. He would not let this disaster put an end to his life.
We can put this into language that people will more easily understand. We can say that Dana Bowman is one human who would not let the loss of both legs put a stop to his adventures— he would keep right on trekking! Dana Bowman was now equipped with two artificial legs, but he would keep right on trekking over all the obstacles that were placed in his path...!
* * * * * * *
Despite conditions that seemed to place the odds against him, Dana Bowman kept right on moving upward as he continued the journey of his route to Heaven. The many successes which he achieved thereafter are rather astounding to consider.
This is the sort of person which makes the human race so impressive in the sight of angels, as they survey the affairs of Earth from the lofty heights of Heaven. Dana Bowman is a source of wonder and inspiration to all of God’s angels in Heaven, and they have been cheering for this particular human being for a great many years now.
That humans can have such faith in God, even when they have never actually seen His throne, is quite astounding to those who are the righteous angels of God— the ones who still worship at the throne of God Almighty. They have faith because they have seen the Father with their own eyes, but humans like Dana Bowman often have a “blind” faith that is quite astounding to them. The faith of men like Bowman is really much more impressive than that of the angels who live in Heaven, in a great many respects.
* * * * * * *
Let’s turn our attention now to the end of Dana’s story. Before things started to get better, they got even worse. Having lost his best friend, both of his legs, and his wife, Dana next discovered that the U. S. Army (lacking the infinite wisdom of God) had decided that they would now reward Dana for his heroism by taking away his identity as a prestigious member of the Army. They wanted him to sign his discharge papers, so that his case could be turned over to the Veteran’s Association and would no longer cause them any trouble.
Dana felt like he was being discarded, of course. But he had gained a very strong sense of identity during the time that he was a Golden Knight, and the Army could not so easily discourage him, nor could it obstruct Dana in the path to his goals.
Dana had his faith in God, plus a strong sense of identity with the Golden Knights, and he was now armed also with a new pair of state-of-the-art prosthetic legs, so he was ready to start climbing this Mountain of Adversity which had been placed before him.
Dana was staying at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for a while, but he ended up sneaking out one weekend with a strong desire to indulge in a familiar activity that had become rather habitual for him over the years: He wanted to make another jump. So he went down to North Carolina, and there he made another parachute jump with some team members of the Golden Knights. It was the first jump he’d made since the accident. He said, “This is all about faith; this is all about believing and moving on and showing people what you can do. And I did it.”
That successful jump with his old buddies from the Golden Knights was enough to convince Army officials that the military still had need of a man like Sgt. Dana Bowman. Only nine months after this horrendous accident, Dana became the first double amputee to ever re-enlist in the U. S. Army. Dana later said, “My story may be a story of inspiration, drive, teamwork; it’s all there, but it all goes right up to the top to God. If you have faith, you can do anything. When something happens, a lot of people blame God. They shouldn’t. Give Him a chance.”
Dana eventually retired after an 18-year-long career in the U. S. Army, but he still manages to stay rather busy. He’s a snow skier, a water skier, and a scuba diver, now that he’s got more free time. He’s made more than 500 parachute jumps since his accident, but he had other ambitions too. He wanted to learn to pilot an airplane. Since setting his sights on that goal, he has picked up a pilot’s license with certification in a variety of areas, and he became the world’s first double-amputee helicopter instructor.
With his positive attitude and a strong faith in God, Dana has also acquired, since his aerial disaster, a new wife named Jennifer, two sons, and two twin daughters. Summing it all up, Dana has said, “The Devil tried to take everything that I had, and guess what? He failed; he failed miserably. Now he’s really ticked and there’s nothing he can do.”
Have you ever before heard the story of an Earth hero more amazing than this one? Have you ever before heard of a human who has done a better job of climbing the Mountain of Adversity? Dana Bowman is far more impressive than any fictional hero because he is a real-life adventurer.
You see, God can use even the fiery trials of this Earth for the benefit of believers, so that they will come out of the furnace in a refined form, wearing a strong new armor that is made of pure gold.
This man truly is a Golden Knight, because he is one of the knights of God. He sets a fine example for all observers, and does not blame God for his mishap. Rather than being overcome by evil, Dana is a conqueror who overcomes misfortune with a good heart.
Dana Bowman has become an unstoppable force of goodness in our world, and while he’s not so invincible as the imaginary Lancelot of those British legends, he’s far more virtuous than that literary character.
* * * * * * *
The science-fiction dreamer who for decades lived in Columbo, Sri Lanka— a certain Mr. Arthur C. Clarke— undoubtedly thought that he had stumbled onto a good story when he made up his imaginary tale of 2001: A Space Odyssey. That tale made Clarke a great deal of money— it helped him to become a more successful and much wealthier man. In that story, his character called “Dave Bowman” explored the area of outer space between Earth and Jupiter, and then the character moved on to meet a Godlike alien being, who would bring to him a great transformation.
In our account of the real-life journey of Dana Bowman, we have provided you with a far more useful and impressive story— one that is far more inspirational, don’t you agree? And this is real Earth history, not just a vain fantasy. Dana Bowman is a real-life parachutist who has thoroughly explored the atmosphere of Earth, and he has had further adventures on the surface of your Earth... but his story has a much better conclusion than that of the character called “Dave Bowman” in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Because he is a believer of God and a believer in His Son Jesus Christ, this valiant soldier named Dana Bowman will one day enter God’s Heaven and become part of the Eternal Kingdom of God. He will one day see the face of God Himself, and he will then enjoy all the wonders of the New Jerusalem. His body will be transformed then too, for his Resurrection Body will be perfect in every way. The Superbeing Who is God will work a powerful transformation in Dana’s life at that time, and he will never again know sorrow, or pain, or any bodily hindrance of this sort.
This is the journey-story of a Bowman who has truly sailed the skies, of one who has ascended to the very heavens, where he will be fully rewarded and transformed by the miraculous powers of Almighty God!
We know you’ll want to join with us and all the angels of Heaven in giving this Soldier of Christ a standing ovation. Bravo, we say! Well done!
Hallelujah to the Lord, and may His Name ever be praised...! Now that’s what I call a story with a happy ending! Amen! Amen! Let it be so, Lord!
Dana Bowman did not surrender to the afflictions of this Earth, even though he had experienced a catastrophic injury while involved in the Cosmic Warfare that prevails on Earth... even though he was burned by the Satanic conflagration that now consumes this planet... even though he spent many years living in a world that has long been ruled by “the Prince of the Power of the Air,” whom Jesus has called “the Prince of this world.”
When the earthly body of this courageous believer finally dies, there will surely be flights of angels present for the occasion, cheering both his ultimate success and his determination never to surrender to the adversities of this Earth.
And with much awe and respect, the angels of God will then usher this fearless soldier of Christ, who was once called a Golden Knight, upward to his new and everlasting position in Heaven’s Hall of Heros.
He may not be carried upward in a chariot of fire, as was the case for the prophet Elijah... but he will surely ascend to the heavens at that time, where he will at last join his Savior and the Father in Heaven.
God the Father in the Bible is sometimes referred to as “the Father of Lights” and “the Lord of Heaven,” while the book of Malachi refers to the coming Messiah as “the Sun of Righteousness.” Our Lord Jesus Christ has declared Himself to be “the Light of the World,” and Christian believers seek to reveal His Light in the great darkness of this current Earth.
The soldiers of Christ, like all other Christian believers, must reflect the light of Jesus Christ— and even His courage— in a very dark and dangerous world. Those who do this well will gain many rewards in Heaven, and Dana Bowman is a believer who will surely be counted in that most successful group.
* * * * * * *
There is a war raging on our Earth, and in all the Universe, between the armies of God and the armies of Satan. Every adult on Earth has been enlisted by one side or the other, so everyone participates— whether they wish it or don’t.
The Lord God Almighty is looking for a few good men (and women) to help Him in His battle against the forces of Darkness. If you repent of your evil ways and turn back to the Light (Jesus Christ, the Light of the World), He can use your service in the Great War which is currently underway on Earth. He needs more soldiers, and He need more recruits who have a courageous spirit like that of Joshua and Caleb!
God’s Remnant is an army of loyal soldiers that survives all this supernatural warfare, and this group of humans will comprise a Special Forces team that is the apple of God's eye. These soldiers get an exalted position with God and are individually chosen by Him-- they are carefully picked out of the crowd by the Righteous King Himself. These troops compose an elite corps that is destined for a special position in God’s Developmental Program for His Universe. This is the overcoming remnant that will be victorious over our current world (which will one day be called Old Earth), and they are the ones whom God will use to re-populate the planet of His New Earth.
The more massive population on our current Earth is that formed by the Armies of Darkness, who mostly adhere to the Majority Opinion. These guys serve the Prince of Darkness, whom Jesus declared to be “the prince of this world”— whether they realize that fact or not!
But that team is headed for ultimate destruction, since they will share the same fate as Satan and his demons! They will first march over all the Earth causing a lot of damage, but ultimately they will suffer an eternal torment when they are consigned to Hell, a place of Outer Darkness where there will be only mental pain, weeping, and despair!
Hell is a place where the enemies of God will be trapped forever with their leader (Satan) and endless remorse. It’s rather like a Lunatic Asylum that will imprison all the enemies of God.
You may wonder why a Loving God (a God of Light) would allow such a thing as Hell to exist. Well, it’s like this:
God created all human and angelic beings in His Universe with the innate gift of Eternal Life, and they get to keep forever that Endless Spirit which resides within their outward forms. They stay alive for all time, infinitely... no matter how much they sin, no matter how evil or insane they may become. So God has to put the Evil One and all his followers SOMEWHERE, and this miserable Hell is where they will reside even after He recreates the Universe and produces the New Earth as a World of Light. In Hell they will know endless remorse, endless despair, and endless torment.
The Darkness which Satan, his demons, and his followers have so long promoted... then becomes the Prison that will trap them for all of Eternity.
So choose this day whom you will serve. If God the Father is your God, then choose to follow Him! If you continue to follow instead the Prince of Darkness, then you must share that monster's ultimate destiny.
Father God wants YOU to join Salvation’s Army! Become one of the Best... be smart and join the winning team! It’s the only way to come out on top in the end!
The alternative is to stay on the losing side... and then you’ll end up at the bottom of a Pit of Fire, with a nasty guy named Satan and an ugly bunch of demons. Woe, woe... and whoa now! Hey, that’s a fate that shouldn’t appeal to anyone with an ounce of good sense...
Let us reiterate...
Father God wants YOU to join Salvation’s Army! Become one of the Best... be smart and join the winning team! It’s the only way to come out on top in the end!
Yeah, that’s right— we’re the World’s Finest, the Good Guys who are “the salt of the Earth.” Admittedly, we fight for truth, for what’s right, and for justice... just like those “naive” police officers that a lot of people try to avoid!
So why do we end up thinking that we’re “better” than all the rest? What makes us so special— what sets us apart from all the other evil sinners in the world?
Only the fact that we’ve accepted salvation through Christ, and have thus gotten forgiveness from our sins... and the fact that we’ve turned to Jesus Christ as a source of Light.
You can share the Light of Jesus Christ, can reflect His Holy Light in a Cruel World, and thus become a point of illumination in the darkness of this world.
God’s Light can become a Lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path, if you choose to accept rescue and salvation that is available in Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God Almighty.
You can even live to see the Light of God flowing through you and reaching out to other people in our world...!
It’s time your mind was illuminated by Jesus Christ, the Holy One Who is the Light of the World!
God Almighty, the Holy and Righteous Leader of the Armies of Light, is looking for a few good followers. You can join His army by placing Jesus Christ, Who in the Trinity of God created our Universe, upon a throne at the center of your heart! He deserves that position and that kind of respect. He was first God The Son, but when born in human flesh He became the only sinless and righteous person who ever lived. Yet He sacrificed Himself on a cross for your sake, taking all guilt and sins upon Himself, in order that you and I— that all people— that whoever wishes for salvation might be rescued from the due punishment of sins.
If you will do this, you will gain a new contentment and peace as you accept God's organizational plan for the Universe . . . because you'll be letting God be the Ruler of All Things in this world . . . and in your own life.
All it really takes is a simple but sincere little prayer— one that you should make up in your own words. The prayer for deliverance and for God's leadership should come from your own heart!
Some important elements that you might include are:
1) your desire to turn away from the wrongness or evil of your
past life, and your remorse over the sins of your previous life,
2) your desire for God's forgiveness and mercy through the act
of sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son (Jesus Christ),
3) your desire to know God's leadership in your life,
4) your desire to learn more of God's truth through Bible study,
5) your desire to find fellowship with genuine believers.
Jesus said of the people of God that "The kingdom of heaven is like a net that God has cast into the sea, and it gathers of every kind: When it is full, it will be pulled up on the shore, where they will sit down to sort the catch, and they will collect the good fish in baskets, but the bad things will be thrown away. This is the way it will be at the end of the world: The angels shall come forth, and they will separate the unrighteous persons from among those justified by God . . ."
Excerpt from the Book of Matthew, who was a constant
companion of Jesus and his devoted disciple [13:47-50].
Jesus spoke of the people of God as being like a seed that is growing secretly, saying, “As for the kingdom of God, it is as if a person should cast seed into the ground; and then he sleeps, and he rises up night and day to see that the seed is springing forth and always growing up, although he knows not exactly how. The Earth is bringing forth fruit from itself; first the blade, then the ears of corn, and after that the fullness of the ears of corn. And when all the fruit of the Earth has come forth, immediately God will use the sickle to reap the fields, because the harvest-time has come."
Excerpt from the book of Mark [4:26-29].
It's also important for all of us to remember this:
1) WE SPEAK TO GOD by our prayers.
2) GOD SPEAKS TO US by the words of Holy Scripture.
So we must try to read His words and His Book
just as often as we possibly can!!
God wants to bless you for all your long efforts to understand this very confusing and difficult Universe in which we live— so let Him reward your search with the grace of His forgiveness and enlightenment!
THIS GUIDE WAS WRITTEN FOR YOU BY. . .
Ken Street, a baptized follower of the Way.
Feb. 3-10, 2003 (draft for my book)
March 31, 2005 (draft rev. for tract)