Only days after the parade and my team winning the Seventh Army championship in small arms, I found myself on maneuvers with a new job as liason officer. I wasn't sure what I did, but I liked it. I had my own driver, a big radio, and a jeep. Soon I was at a dusty crossroads where armored vehicles were roaring through from both directions. My job was to keep them from crashing in to each other and go the right direction,. When that was completed we raced off to another crossroad for similar duty. On the way I suddenly realized my carbine was gone! I had laid it on the hood of the jeep and forgotten that. You do not lose your weapon! But I had. A quick return on the road did not help. It was lost.
Following maneuvers a message came for me to report to the Battalion Commander, Colonel Lang. This was the man who had to plan a parade for me. I was told to enter his office. I stood before him and saluted. I said, "Lieutenant Pogue, reporting sir". He gave me an "at ease", looked at me silently then finally said, "Pogue, have you lost anything lately?". Gulp! I answered, "Yes Sir". "What have you lost, Lieutenant Pogue?". Now I was going to make a confession that would send me to the guard house or to a trial for sure. "My carbine, sir", I meekly replied. The old colonel leaned over to reach under his desk. "Did it look anything like this, Pogue?" He held up a carbine, one of millions that had been made. "Yes sir" . "How did you happen to lose it, Pogue?" My answer was what I knew you were supposed to give when you had really made a big mistake. I simply said, "No excuse, sir". With that the Colonel said something about penalties for losing one's weapon. When he finished his little speech he said, "I am going to reprimand you, Pogue". ( O dear, here it comes) "You are hereby reprimanded! Now, take your carbine and get back to your duty." Finally, he gave me a rather mischievious smile as he handed me my carbine. I left that room wanting to shout, "I am free!!" That was the end of it. Nothing appeared on my records. I really was free.
Sometimes wouldn't it be best to stand or kneel before our Supreme Commander and simply say, "No excuse" and then accept his forgiveness? God does not buy into excuses but is generous with His forgiveness. We just need to get back to our duty.