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    Retired Col. Danny McKnight, featured in 'Black Hawk Down,' is guest speaker at National Prayer Breakfast on Kandhar Airfield

    Retired Col. Danny McKnight, depicted in Black Hawk Down, speaks at National Prayer Breakfast

    Photo By Sgt. Amanda Hils | Retired Col. Danny R. McKnight, made famous in the book and film Black Hawk Down for...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Amanda Hils 

    ISAF Regional Command South

    KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Kandahar Airfield and Regional Command South’s Combined Task Force-82 played host to the National Prayer Breakfast Feb. 6, featuring guest speaker retired Col. Danny R. McKnight, made famous in the book and film "Black Hawk Down" for his actions in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993.

    Service members from all over the battle space attended the breakfast, including Maj. Gen. Jim Huggins, RC(S) and 82nd Airborne Division commander; Chaplain (Col.) Dave Smith, USFOR-A Command chaplain; Col. Karl D. Reed, RC(S) and 82nd Airborne Division chief of staff; Command Sgt. Maj. Bryant C. Lambert, RC(S) and 82nd Airborne Division command sergeant major; and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jeffrey D. Watters, RC(S) and 82nd Airborne Division chaplain.

    Watters gave the invocation and welcomed Huggins up to the podium to say a few words before introducing the guest speaker.

    “If you start your day with prayer and end your day with prayer, you land on solid footing,” Huggins advised, after a performance by a praise and worship band that was formed on Kandahar Airfield.

    “When new soldiers and officers would come into the unit, I’d encourage them to find their faith,” he said, remembering back to his previous commands. “In a foxhole, you’ll find it anyway. But you can get a head start.”

    McKnight then addressed the service members about his three journeys through life: his childhood and adolescence in a Christian household, his military career, and his current journey in Florida, traveling the country as a motivational speaker.

    After a service at his congregation he said that he stayed another 45 minutes to an hour because every one of the members of his church wanted to ask him to bring a message from them, and from all across the country.

    He said that their message was to make sure he told the service members how much they appreciate them, every second of every day, how important they are to the safety and security of this country, and that they love them.

    His appreciation for the service members and their work here was evident in all of his remarks, particularly when he identified with their struggles during deployment and on missions by speaking out about his "Black Hawk Down" experience.

    “It was one of those really tough days. Many of you have had those tough days, I know. I know I should’ve died that day, but I didn’t…” he said. “When I got back, I was angry, because how could God let this happen? I finally came to peace with something in those moments surrounding this anger. It’s a simple thing but so important- ‘God’s will be done.’ And I had to accept that.”

    After his speech, McKnight and USFOR-A Command Chaplain (Col.) Smith spoke with dozens of service members, including Wounded Warriors and current soldiers in the 3rd Ranger Battalion, the unit McKnight was apart of while he was in the service.

    The message he made sure to leave all of the attendees with was simple: “God promises a safe landing but not a calm passage.”



    Date Taken: 02.06.2012
    Date Posted: 02.07.2012 06:14
    Story ID: 83447

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