I am finishing up preaching for Pastor Campo here in Cape Cod. In between this revival and my Boston revival, Joan joined me and we drove down to Annapolis for Justin Bardin’s graduation. We arrived the night before and took a tour of Annapolis with Jim Bardin acting as the tour guide. We then got up early and made our way to the stadium to make sure we got parking and seating. There were 900 + graduates with about 250 of them becoming second lieutenants in the Marines and the rest becoming ensigns in the Navy. Justin will be continuing on to Harvard for graduate studies and then he will be assigned to the nuclear sub division of the Navy.
The entire event makes me proud to be an American and especially proud of my own father’s service to the country as a 30 year marine. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, a 1968 Naval Academy graduate, challenged the graduating U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2008 to learn from their mistakes, stand up for what’s right, even to their leaders, and hold themselves accountable for their actions. It was an excellent speech from a man who got where he is by learning from his mistakes and having others believe in him to help him overcome after his failures.
Afterwards the Bardin’s treated us to a barbeque along the water. There were about 50 of us including Justin’s family with grandparents, Pastor Dave and Dianne Robinson, Pastor Ron and Bobbie Lawhon, Pastor Les and Sally Uptain, my daughters Laura Michelle and Audra Lea, Justin’s economics teacher from Wickenburg and his wife, Justin’s fiancé, Patricia and her mom and friends, along with a Wickenburg woman who is president of a scholarship committee that has sponsored Justin and Justin’s sponsoring family.
Jim Bardin, Justin’s dad, my friend for 25 years, rose talked to us all. He expressed his pride in his son, giving glory to Jesus, for helping them to raise their son. He then complimented his son by explaining that the idea and all of the work that it entailed to go to the Naval Academy was something Justin accomplished. He maintained a 4.0 while meeting the physical requirements. He graduated 22 out of 1037. Quite an accomplishment for a young man from our church in the small town of Wickenburg.