Hope for Heroes: You’re giving them hope to conquer any fear

Posted in: Stories

Chaplain Jeff Struecker and a humvee in the desert

After joining the Army, Jeff Struecker often faced danger. But his greatest challenge came in 1993 when a mission in Somalia went terribly wrong.

United Nations workers there were being killed by a power-hungry warlord, so Jeff’s unit and Special Operations were sent in to deal with him. Jeff was a 24-year-old Task Force Ranger, responsible for nine men.

In the battle that would become known by the distress call, “Black Hawk Down,” Special Ops would be dropped from helicopters around the target building and rush in. “We had to bring those soldiers and their prisoners back to base,” says Jeff. “Everything went as planned until one American fell 70 feet to the ground from the chopper. We loaded him into our Humvee and rushed back to base for medical care.

“Driving back, it seemed like everyone in that city was shooting at us. We fired back, hoping to keep each other alive. But one of my men got shot and died immediately.

“We made it to the airfield but heard a helicopter had been shot down, and we had to go back. I prayed, ‘God, I need your help!’ and realized my life was firmly in His hands.

“My men and I went back and forth three times that night, fighting for our lives. When it was finally over, battle-hardened Rangers with tears in their eyes asked me: ‘What’s going to happen to me if I die tomorrow?’ I told as many soldiers as would listen that if they asked Jesus to be their Savior, they could be sure of spending eternity with Him in heaven.”

Today, as a pastor and former chaplain, Jeff is passionately involved with Cru Military and presents our e-Kit video seminar, which your gifts and prayers help make possible. As Cru Military celebrates 50 years of connecting the military in our midst with Jesus, we want to thank you for serving with us to give them the comforting hope that conquers any fear.