Image courtesy: Pfc. David Hauk, U.S. Army. Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why We Pray

Images courtesy: Facebook

When a Gold Star mother sends me an e-mail or gives me a call, I drop everything to read or listen. Tuesday afternoon, the proud mom of both a fallen hero and an active duty soldier sent me a story that I am compelled to share.

Second Lt. Nicholas Vogt, pictured to the left, reportedly suffered catastrophic wounds on Saturday when the soldier stepped on an improvised explosive device. According to The Mansfield News Journal, 2nd Lt. Vogt, while still Army strong at this hour, lost both of his legs in the tragic terrorist attack.

This news is both incomprehensible and heartbreaking. However, when reading the Facebook page of the soldier's mother, who is politely asking everyone to pray for her son, it's impossible not to come away inspired.

"The phone call finally came this morning at 5:30. It was our German Angel, (name removed for family's privacy)," the Army mom wrote on Wednesday. "He said, 'Mr & Mrs. Vogt, I'm here with Nicholas right now. I'm going to put the phone up to his ear so you can talk to him.' It was the most amazing minute of our lives."

There had been some uncertainty over whether the 24-year-old wounded warrior could survive a flight from Afghanistan to the hospital in Germany. Considering that the soldier's heart briefly stopped after the explosion, according to the aforementioned article, Wednesday's development is being viewed by many as nothing short of miraculous.

The newspaper reported that on Monday night, hundreds of concerned citizens poured into a Shelby, Ohio, church to pray for the soldier and his family, who hail from nearby Crestline. The community came together for the service despite heavy rain.

Less than 48 hours later, it's clear that the prayers of these good people are being heard.

As an American soldier fights for his life, let the prayers of northern Ohio stretch across the entire nation, and echo so loudly that they are heard not only in heaven, but inside a hospital in Germany and inside the unit where this warrior so bravely served in Afghanistan. Even though he's left the war zone, this soldier is still fighting, and we should all be fighting for him.

"Nick is still the same good lookin son we all know and love," his mom posted. "Keep praying, people. Nick still has such a long way to go for recovery that we can't stop yet. Our prayers (and his strong will) have gotten him this far and they will carry him even further, we know it."

Later this afternoon, by coincidence, I will be speaking on the phone with a combat veteran who lost both legs and an arm while fighting in southwest Asia. I plan to tell him about 2nd Lt. Vogt and the soldier's family, who shine brightly even during one of their family's darkest hours. I won't need to ask this valiant veteran to pray, because he already knows how many people prayed for him after he was badly injured.

Despite dozens of surgeries, the wounded warrior I will speak with later today survived. Through the strength of 2nd Lt. Nicholas Vogt, the skill of his doctors, the devotion of his family and caregivers, and the graciousness of God, we all pray that this selfless patriot will too.

Brave soldier: as you heal thousands of miles from our gentle shores of freedom, America is with you.


  1. Thank you for posting this! Nick has been in our families prayers since we rec'd the news of his unfortunate accident. He has many,many families, classmates and friends praying and we will continue to pray for him. Many classmates are anxious to send him goodwill wishes!
    A WP Alumni Mother

  2. Wow.. This really touched my heart.

  3. I have been praying for this young man, whose updates have been shared on the West Point Moms page. I didn't realize until now that his family only lives a half hour from us! May the Lord continue to minister to him...

  4. I am a friend of the "German angel" and have been praying since he first mentioned Nick. My family and I will be praying for him and all the other soldiers who are so far from home....

  5. Thank you to 2nd Lt. Vogt for putting your life on the line for my family and my safety here in the States. If from California I can do anything to help in some little way, don't hesitate to call on me. Prayers is a "given"... Done, doing and will do... Always.

  6. My prayers are with Lt. Vogt and his family. My son was in Ranger school with this young soldier and Ranger families stand together.

  7. I was a classmate of Nick's at USMA. He always has a smile on his face, and I know he will pull through this stronger than ever. Loyal 'til the End

  8. I'm from the same town as Nick and even though not everyone knows him personally, his kindness is known by most. I know how much prayers mean when you're fighting to survive. I'm praying for you Nick and I hope everyone else will continue to do so.

  9. There is something else we can do for Nick and thousands of other soldiers. Please check out the Wounded Warrior Project. They help soldiers, like Nick, who have suffered horrific injuries in the line of duty. They help these soldiers heal, adjust and adapt to their injuries.

  10. I had the honor of living in the same company with Nick at USMA for two years. He is one of the finest people that I have ever met. His strength and courage and the thoughts and prayers of everyone will get him through this tragedy. I know Nick and I know that he won't let this slow him down at all. He is a true American hero and it is men like Nick that should remind us all what it means for be an American and of the sacrifices that heroes like Nick make for us all.

  11. To everyone who has commented so far: Thank you for these extraordinary posts and for educating all of us about why 2nd Lt. Vogt is such a remarkable man. Hearing from the people who know this fine American best is so much more meaningful than anything I could possibly write.

    I also want to make sure to thank all this soldier's brothers and sisters in arms for your service and sacrifice. While you're probably too humble to admit it, you are heroes too.

    Someday, I hope to shake 2nd Lt. Vogt's hand and thank him for all he has done for our nation. Until that moment -- no matter how long it takes -- my family and I will be praying for this wounded warrior and his loved ones.

  12. I don't know Nick personally, but i am old friends with his uncle Chris. We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and to Nick. Nick, we wish you the best of luck on your recovery, and extend our thanks for serving our country, may God bless you all, Jeff and Dina Bauer

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  14. My son Matt and Nick went though Ranger school together. I would like for Nick and his family to know that our family will continue to keep him in our thoughts and prayers for his recovery! God Bless you.