A Tribute to the faithful ministry of Ranger Gary Horton

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A Tribute to the faithful ministry of Ranger Gary Horton - Page Text Content

S: Celebrating 30+ Years of Gary Horton's Ministry

FC: Ranger Gary Horton | A Good and Faithful Servant

1: To a faithful warrior who has run the race - and WON. The impact upon so many young lives, as he proclaimed Christ, honor and Patriotism throughout this nation is beyond measure and will not be revealed until we all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. His personal attitude and commitment is reveled in the following words: “I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit’s power. The die is cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth needs, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded, and I will live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lifted by prayer and labor by power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my guide reliable and my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maize of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I’ve stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go until He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own He will have no problem recognizing me - - - my banner will be clear!” The words of a fellow warrior who also lived it! To a Brother in Christ, whom so many love, we salute your faithful service Ranger Gary Horton!

2: In the beginning... | the ever faithful prayer warrior | Photos from Bonnie and David Hughes

3: Photos from | FAMILY | Lori Horton

4: Photos from Janelle Reber

5: Perhaps the biggest way God has used you in my life, Gary, is in showing me that Christianity is not just for the children and the ladies but also for men! You have shown me that men can unashamedly look to Christ as our Hero and as the perfect model of masculinity. You also, in the midst of a culture and the church in general that seems to be searching for a reason to exist, have always reminded me that we are in a spiritual battle of cosmic and eternal proportion. We exist to serve and honor the King of Kings! I'll be forever grateful for you and your ministry! John Chase

6: Don and Jeanne Oakland 1991 | Leo Thorsness Medal of Honor 1991 | Skagit County, WA 1985 | WYC at Fort Warden 1991 | WYC Firepit 1994 | Photos from Matt and Sharon Mallory

7: Gary, We are honored to help pay tribute to you, as we have such great love and respect for you. As a man of God, we have watched you touch many lives over the years and ours as well. When we met you in 1982, we were new Christians and began going to school assemblies. We were drawn in by your love and passion for our Lord, our country and our youth. Every time we saw you, we were inspired to live a righteous life and to bring glory to God. In 1991, Washington Youth Camp was born! For 12 years, we spent a week watching, listening, and growing. Time and time again we have seen you give of yourself. Truly Gary, you have shown us and taught us how to live a life of sacrificial love. There are so many wonderful memories we could not begin to write them all down! However, we did find some old pictures of you - Hope you enjoy your special day and all it holds! Much love to you - Matt and Sharon Mallory Lynnwood, WA | BLake Mallory at NSCS 2006 | Dear Liza, Dear Liza 1991 | Gary, Brian and Jody WYC 1991 | WYC planning mtg 1990

8: Photos of Pennsylvania Youth Camp

9: We, of the Pennsylvania Youth Camp, have been thrilled every year to have Gary to be a part of our camp. He has been as much a part of the staff as anyone from Erie or Columbus. These images of Gary are from 1988 -– 1999. Gary has been a blessing to more kids in this country than I think any of us really know. I have never met a man who showed more dedication and firm reliance of faith than he has as he stands behind the podium teaching, sharing from his vast list of poetry or telling jokes that by now we can finish before he can, but that we all still love to hear. Brian Zentis Assistant Camp Director, PA Youth Camp | Gary and Denny Gorsh | "The Marathon" 10 schools 3 churches in 5 days. It was always a great time in Iowa and a blessing from THE LORD to have Gary in our presence for a week. It was a continuous Bible class and a great honor and privilege to host this messenger sent from heaven! | "The Marathon" 10 schools 3 churches in 5 days. It was always a great time in Iowa and a blessing from THE LORD to have Gary in our presence for a week. It was a continuous Bible class and a great honor and privilege to host this messenger sent from heaven!

10: Photos from | Don & Jeanne Oakland

11: Homeland

12: Gary, What do you say about a co-worker and long time friend? I will not forget the first time I met you and watched you perform in Bartow, FL. I was truly amazed with your ability to captivate an audience and with your desire to reach people for Christ. That initial meeting was the beginning of a great friendship that carries to this day. We have come a long way from Valrieco. Remember Fort Joe, FL where the KKK marched on us. How about the night that we were in the central part of a group of guys on the street corner in Florida when they said some bad words and made some foul gestures. It raised my Irish blood pressure; we circled the block, stopped and went to set them straight. They apologized, and we showed them a few magic tricks and ministered to them. Another time, we were in Miami at your sister's house and watched a man walk on the moon. That night we went to Dunkin Doughnuts and bought a couple dozen pink doughnuts, we thought that was the right thing to do at the time. Last week, I was at the Four Freshman reunion and someone came up to me and said "you are Lowell Lytle and you were at the Free Fair, with Gary Horton, Terry Casburn, Joe Brown, Wayne Hacket and Danny Skidmore". I couldn't believe she would remember all of our names. She and her boyfriend saw three shows. You helped start Young American Showcase and were with us for years. What a wonderful ministry. Here you are, still carrying on. What a special friend, Barb and I will not forget you. Our prayers are with you. Lowell Lytle

13: What a guy! Gary has been a major part of our lives since our sons attended his Arkansas summer camps nearly 30 years ago. One of them still has his Toad Suck t-shirt. Like Jesus, his message has run afoul of various administrators, scoffers, and political correctness; but by the grace of God, Gary gets his word through. We have witnessed it first hand when we lived in PA and have seen his powerful presentation at our schools and churches. We just hope he can come to Colorado and expand his work in God's Country. Congrats, Gary, on 30 years of serving Him. May you have many more. Al and Mary Kraft

14: The Wilkies The Muellers The Wests The Owsleys

15: From Florida to Oklahoma Gary, It is an honor and privilege to know you and to be a part of your team. Your gift of encouragement has lifted us up and challenged us to be all that Christ has called us to be. Your caring, selflessness and sacrificial life have blessed so many, and as hard as we have tried to be a blessing to you, you have always been a greater blessing to us. What a privilege to experience a truly surrendered life to God. We know the time spent with us has been time away from your soul mate, Ruthie, and how grateful we are that she has shared your life in this ministry. What would you have done without the wind beneath your wings? Every time you come to Oklahoma, we are humbled by your commitment to the mission of reaching young people for Christ. You make us want to be better, love more, and serve God with a renewed commitment, because when we see your life we know what a surrendered life is supposed to look like. As your friends and as your family in Christ, we are grateful for every visit. Thank you for letting us be a part of your team. To the world, you may be one person; to many people you have been the world. You are loved. Sharon Wilkie Nancy and Roger Mueller Tammy and Jon West Gaylon and Seth Owsley

16: An “ERIE” Fishing Trip I guess it has been almost 30 years now. Horton wanted to go fishing at a private lake near his house. I hauled my boat out to the lake, launched it and we set out on our fishing adventure. After about half a day, we had not had a bite and the weather was beginning to get ugly. The wind had picked up to a point that we could no longer navigate the small boat, so we just allowed it to blow us around without trying to fight it. Eventually, the wind blew us up against the shore so we just decided to stay there and use it as a stationary platform from which to fish. Wind in our faces, we began to fish the waters in front of us and amazingly we began to catch a few small fish. However, the wind was still a hindrance and to make things worse, the lakeshore behind us was overgrown with bushes and tall grass making it a challenge to cast our rods. Often our lures would end up entangled in the brushes while trying to cast. It was not the best of fishing conditions but we were enjoying the day, so we just kept fishing hoping that the “big one” would finally decide to take our bait. Suddenly, after a long period of no bites, I had what felt to be a very large fish grab my line. Unfortunately, I did not hook it so in my haste to get my line back in the water I reeled in the bait and quickly tried to cast again. As I whipped my rod forward to cast my lure, I felt it catch in something behind me. Frustrated and thinking that I was hung up on the shore again I whipped it forward again much more forcefully hoping to dislodge the lure. "The Marathon" 10 schools 3 churches in 5 days. It was always a great time in Iowa and a blessing from THE LORD to have Gary in our presence for a week. It was a continuous Bible class and a great honor and privilege to host this messenger sent from heaven!

17: To my surprise, rather than seeing the lure fly out over the lake, I heard a deep painful groan. I quickly turned around to see Horton holding the side of his head with blood running down is face and two of the six hooks on my lure sticking completely through his ear! “Help me get his thing out of my ear” Gary said as my hands began to shake, and I tried hard not to throw up. Not wanting to perform surgery in the boat, I encouraged him to head home but he was insistent so I went to work with the rusty pliers that I always kept in my tackle box. Fish hooks are very hard to bend and much harder to cut but after what seemed to be an eternity I was able to cut off the re-barbs and the hooks pulled out of his ear. I was still feeling sick but relieved to have to hooks out of Gary’s ear. But then, to my horror, Horton, who had been holding the lure steady against his head during the operation, moved his hand away only to reveal that two more hooks were embedded deeply in his left temple and there was NO way I was going to try to remove those! By now, Gary had come to terms with the fact that probably, we were going to the hospital. So we loaded up the boat and headed back to the house. Once there he began trying to talk me into finishing the brain surgery that I had started out in the boat but Ruthie was having none of it and gave Gary only one option. After a hefty dose of painkiller, Gary began to joke and make light of the situation. As Ruth came out to the car for the trip to the ER, Gary hung his car keys on the one remaining hook that was not inside his body. “Look honey, a great place to hang my car keys” Gary said to a much more concerned Ruth. They climbed in the car to head to the hospital, and I hooked up my boat and headed home. Despite the length of time that has gone by, I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I think of it even though it was my largest catch to date. Boyce Smith

18: Photos from Aram Donigian

19: Photos from | Aram Donigan

20: Gary, I can't believe its been almost 15 years since I first heard you speak. I think that means we are both getting old. Ha! What an inspiration you have been to my life. I know that eventually I would have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, but God put you in my life to teach me about Jesus., to be the one to speak to my heart and I am so grateful for that. I am so grateful that you were ther when I was baptized. Those are precious memories that I will never forget. God gave you a special gift and I believe you have used that gift to bless so many others. I know when you get to Heaven the very first thing God will say to you is "well done my good and faithful servant." You have shown not only myself, but so many other people how to NOT be afraid of their faith, how to share that faith and how to honor our God. I pray that our paths will cross again, we can talk and you can meet my daughters. I think of you often and pray you are doing well. Keep doing what you are doing, Gary, for you are doing a great thing. Love, Bobbi Richardson Van Reet

21: Jeremy Preston and Gary

22: Stadler Band | Stadler Band Still going strong | Photos from Maggie Blackmon Australia | Living Room Group | Gary singing at the Wedding

23: Dear Gary, "If you've got roses, bless your soul, just pin one on my buttonhole. But do it while I'm at my best, instead of when I'm safe at rest." Here are my"roses'"Gary.... It was in the spring of 1989 at Bill and Pearl Langdon's home that you invited my brothers and I to attend and help with music at PA Camp. I heard your A.M.E.R.I.C.A presentation for the first time, too. I remember wishing I had heard your message when I was in high school . And too, I remember thinking how blessed those children were to have heard it and how, if they chose, it would change their lives forever. It was powerful then.... and it still is now. Your commitment to the mission you were assigned and to the One who gave you that mission has never wavered. Do you remember our Australia camp in 1998? Remember wandering around the Malaysian airport--lost...finally finding our hotel at 3 am...sleeping 3 hours and then getting back on the plane for the last leg to Perth? And at the camp, you did a wonderful job of encouraging the Australian youth to grow in knowledge of God and to love their country. You spoke in schools too while you were there. How can I forget the assembly where after we sang, you got up to speak, and during the presentation thought one of the children had soiled himself..it smelled so bad!....and everywhere you moved, it was still there! Meanwhile, I was in the back of the room listening to you, when our hostess stage whispered and said "Oh my gosh! Gary's bleeding!" You sure were! You told us later that the smell-ee was the smell-er . I believe that was the surgery day... And you never did get to go abseiling. Somewhere in the trip, there was a celebration where you led Gene and Nancy Cunningham through a renewal of their marriage vows, and we played music late into the night at Lester and Betty's beautiful home..What a great time.! Father God had to have enjoyed it too.. Oh... and EVERYONE came home from Australia with a hat.. Gary, I bless the day we all met; you are a faithful thread of friendship in the tapestry of our lives. May we NEVER forget that the main thing is to keep the Main Thing the main thing. Blessings and love to you and your precious family, Maranatha! Maggy Stadler Blackman

24: Music Time | Photos from Maggie Blackmon Australia | Gary and Bobby Joiner | Class Time | Gary, being Gary | GARY... | tinkling the ivories

25: Aussi Camp | Wedding Party | Gene and Nan Cunningham | The Cunninghams | Wedding Band | Aussi Airport Crew | Renewing their vows | being Gary

26: Gary Thanks for the consistent, sacrificial and caring ministry over the years to not only the youth of this country but to the Pastors and to those in ministry for which you have such a big heart. Your personal ministry to my family will always have eternal and beneficial results. You have been a source of encouragement to everyone I know who has known you. Thanks Gary, for your service to our Country and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Quentin and Beverly Swafford and our entire family | What a joy it has been to know you all these years and to witness the love you have for our Lord and Savior. I can't begin to tell you how touched Jerry and I have been that you use Jeanne's life story as you speak in the schools. We thought about that often when we were going through the "whys?" You have blessed us, by association beyond measure. We are totally amazed at your memory as you quote all your beautiful poems. Actually, we can't remember from room to room at times. We have been blaming it on aging, but you are knocking the heck out of those excuses. You need to bottle what you have been taking! We pray that God will bless "us" with many more years of seeing and hearing your testimony as you glorify Him through your life. You are a dear friend. We love you, Jean and Jerry Wilson

27: Dear Gary, We wanted to express our thanks by honoring one of our Lord's greatest warriors. We have been involved with Doctrinal Studies from Berachah Church since the early 1970s. It was through these studies that we were first introduced to your ministry. When the Colonel first talked about this crazy guy that repelled down the church steeple, we knew we had to meet you. Over the years we have had the pleasure of following your ministry through your newsletters and your many visits to our great Northwest. Having seen several of the early videos of your school presentations, we couldn't wait to see the real thing. | We will never forget the first time we had the privilege to attend one of your assemblies here in our area. If you want to see the Lord work, just watch Gary in front of those kids! Within just a few minutes, you could hear a pin drop as all eyes were focused on you and hanging on your every word. What a wonderful gift bestowed on a truly wonderful man. While we know that the Lord is always faithful, it is your perseverance and dedication that is such an example of Reciprocal Love. Being around you is to see the Lord work in so many ways and it always an inspiration and a privilege that we have never taken for granted. We cannot thank you and your family enough for your dedicated service and living examples of the power of The Word of God. Your friends in Christ, Sig and Carol Siegner, Salem, OR

28: Photos from | Ernie Tomlinson

29: Photos from Ernie Tomlinson

30: Photos from Ernie Tomlinson

31: Photos from Ernie Tomlinson

32: Gary, I just wanted to thank you for your walk with the Lord. Through the years, I have ALWAYS been encouraged by your walk and your words. About 3 years ago, a friend of RobbieÂ’s (my son) interviewed me for a project at his school in which he asked me who were the three people that had most impacted my life. I reflected for a while, and my choices were Ron Adema for his faithfulness, Gary Horton, for his tenacity in his walk with the Lord and Bobby Joiner, for his passion for the Lord. Thank you so much for that tenacity through the years, for persevering and honoring the Lord no matter what has come into your life and for always being ready and willing to speak that word of encouragement and motivation. Thank you so much. Jackie Broadhead | To Gary and his faithful family, I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for the many times you have been an encouragement and Spiritual leader to me in my walk with the Lord. I donÂ’t think there was a youth camp that I went to as a teen that I didnÂ’t hear you teach and leave the camp more encouraged in the faith to go out and fight the good fight for the Lord. You have such a passion for our Lord and love that it shows through you and your family. I am so honored to know you and call you friend. Thank you for being faithful and never quitting even when times get tough. You are an example of what being a true warrior and hero for the faith is. May God continue to bless you and your family and grant you peace during this trying time. IÂ’m praying daily for you and your family. In HIM, Amy Frederick (Bill and Pearl LangdonÂ’s daughter)

33: Gary, I met you back in the 1980's in Atlanta at one of Colonel Thieme's yearly conferences. I did not have the opportunity of meeting Ruthie or Tammy at that time. I believe Ruthie was teaching and Tammy may have been in school. I told you when I met you that I had been praying for you every day for many years (as I had been a Thieme taper and had seen your name on the prayer list and had heard the Colonel speak of you.) You were so impressed that you told me the next day at the poolside that you hardly slept the previous night thinking that I had been faithfully praying for you all that time. Gary, Ruthie and Tammy, you are on my daily prayer list, and I have continued to pray for you all these years. I just want to express my deepest condolences on the loss of your grandson and former son-in-law. I have been in prayer a lot since hearing of this. Even when the Lord awakens me at night, I pray for you and the entire family whose grief is beyond anything I can understand. Your sister in Christ, Paula Roberts of Phoenix AZ | Thank you, Gary, for your dedication to presenting the good news of forgiveness, everlasting life, and purpose to the teens for so many years. You reached many here in Spokane years ago when it was possible for you to speak to the high schools. Tod Kennedy and Spokane Bible Church

34: Photos from Matt Drumm

35: Photos from Matt Drumm

36: Teaching is a challenge and inner-city schools are very challenging. Students are frequently confused about good norms and standards. Their frame of reference for the legal system may be full of hatred and violence. This mixture of emotions can often make students fearful to trust, to love, or to respect people in authority. I had the opportunity to teach these students and discovered they had a precious soul lying dormant. Gary was in Birmingham, AL. and the teaching staff was aware that the students would benefit by listening to a motivational speaker, Gary Horton. However, our students would not usually sit very long and listen. If they became restless, there was a possibility of fights, that could be gang related, I promised the staff if the students became restless, Gary would stop and the students would return to their classes. The students filed into the auditorium under the watchful eyes of their teachers and security guards that were there to stop any possible conflicts. Gary, armed with the Holy Spirit, spoke and touched the young people who knew little peace in their souls. Students were introduced to a man of peace – our Savior, Jesus Christ. Approximately three hundred students, many who lived in turmoil became mesmerized with the gospel. Students who had previously been known to sit for a maximum of 15 minutes sat quietly in their seats – hearts listening, 45 minutes passed – speech ended – there was complete silence – you could have heard a pin dropped! Teenager’s lives were changed. Many miracles are recorded in the Bible - that day, I witnessed a miracle at Lee Middle School. Peggy Baxter | Teaching is a challenge and inner-city schools are very challenging. Students are frequently confused about good norms and standards. Their frame of reference for the legal system may be full of hatred and violence. This mixture of emotions can often make students fearful to trust, to love, or to respect people in authority. I had the opportunity to teach these students and discovered they had a precious soul lying dormant. Gary was in Birmingham, AL. and the teaching staff was aware that the students would benefit by listening to a motivational speaker, Gary Horton. However, our students would not usually sit very long and listen. If they became restless, there was a possibility of fights, that could be gang related, I promised the staff if the students became restless, Gary would stop and the students would return to their classes. The students filed into the auditorium under the watchful eyes of their teachers and security guards that were there to stop any possible conflicts. Gary, armed with the Holy Spirit, spoke and touched the young people who knew little peace in their souls. Students were introduced to a man of peace – our Savior, Jesus Christ. Approximately three hundred students, many who lived in turmoil became mesmerized with the gospel. Students who had previously been known to sit for a maximum of 15 minutes sat quietly in their seats – hearts listening, 45 minutes passed – speech ended – there was complete silence – you could have heard a pin dropped! Teenager’s lives were changed. Many miracles are recorded in the Bible - that day, I witnessed a miracle at Lee Middle School. Peggy Baxter | Teaching is a challenge and inner-city schools are very challenging. Students are frequently confused about good norms and standards. Their frame of reference for the legal system may be full of hatred and violence. This mixture of emotions can often make students fearful to trust, to love, or to respect people in authority. I had the opportunity to teach these students and discovered they had a precious soul lying dormant. Gary was in Birmingham, AL. and the teaching staff was aware that the students would benefit by listening to a motivational speaker, Gary Horton. However, our students would not usually sit very long and listen. If they became restless, there was a possibility of fights, that could be gang related, I promised the staff if the students became restless, Gary would stop and the students would return to their classes. The students filed into the auditorium under the watchful eyes of their teachers and security guards that were there to stop any possible conflicts. Gary, armed with the Holy Spirit, spoke and touched the young people who knew little peace in their souls. Students were introduced to a man of peace – our Savior, Jesus Christ. Approximately three hundred students, many who lived in turmoil became mesmerized with the gospel. Students who had previously been known to sit for a maximum of 15 minutes sat quietly in their seats – hearts listening, 45 minutes passed – speech ended – there was complete silence – you could have heard a pin dropped! Teenager’s lives were changed. Many miracles are recorded in the Bible - that day, I witnessed a miracle at Lee Middle School. Peggy Baxter | Teaching is a challenge and inner-city schools are very challenging. Students are frequently confused about good norms and standards. Their frame of reference for the legal system may be full of hatred and violence. This mixture of emotions can often make students fearful to trust, to love, or to respect people in authority. I had the opportunity to teach these students and discovered they had a precious soul lying dormant. Gary was in Birmingham, AL. and the teaching staff was aware that the students would benefit by listening to a motivational speaker, Gary Horton. However, our students would not usually sit very long and listen. If they became restless, there was a possibility of fights, that could be gang related, I promised the staff if the students became restless, Gary would stop and the students would return to their classes. The students filed into the auditorium under the watchful eyes of their teachers and security guards that were there to stop any possible conflicts. Gary, armed with the Holy Spirit, spoke and touched the young people who knew little peace in their souls. Students were introduced to a man of peace – our Savior, Jesus Christ. Approximately three hundred students, many who lived in turmoil became mesmerized with the gospel. Students who had previously been known to sit for a maximum of 15 minutes sat quietly in their seats – hearts listening, 45 minutes passed – speech ended – there was complete silence – you could have heard a pin dropped! Teenager’s lives were changed. Many miracles are recorded in the Bible - that day, I witnessed a miracle at Lee Middle School. Peggy Baxter

38: Ranger Reflections After Gary and I graduated from our initial training, we were assigned in Feb '04 to Company C, (Airborne/Ranger 2/75th Inf) 1/29 Inf at Ft. Benning, Ga. After Vietnam, separate Ranger units were sent back state side and attached to different conventional battalions/divisions throughout CONUS. Our then Captain, Congressional Honor winner, CPT Howard became a Believer much due to Gary's influence. There were four of us in CPT Howard’s company that were from the same church, Berachah, and it was Gary who arranged for all of us, plus other Rangers to come to Berachah to give a 4th of July "Ranger in Action Demonstration." CPT Howard was the guest of honor. CPT Howard had great respect for Gary. When commissioned to be a company commander of a newly formed Ranger Battalion, CPT Howard handpicked Ranger Horton to help activate the unit. Gary later went on to help him create the 2d Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry. As I recall, later in 1978, when I volunteered for CO A, CPT Howard and Gary were gone, but everywhere I went, especially in CO A, fellow Rangers would talk about the combination of CPT Howard and SGT Horton. There were pictures throughout CO A of the two of them together. I never once talked to anyone who did not respect Gary and have something positive to say about him and it has been an honor to know and serve with him. In Christ's Grace, Craig Morin R LTC RET

39: Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Training, SERE is a program that provides military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and private military contractors with training in evading capture, survival skills and the military code of conduct. Established by the United States Air Force at the end of the Korean War (1950–53), it was extended during the Vietnam War (1959–75) to the Army, Navy and Marines. Most higher level SERE students are military aircrew and special operations personnel considered to be at high risk of capture. Training for the US Army SERE School is located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and at Fort Rucker, Alabama. | COL Robert L. Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions. | “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Gen. George S. Patton | Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Training, SERE is a program that provides military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and private military contractors with training in evading capture, survival skills and the military code of conduct. Established by the United States Air Force at the end of the Korean War (1950–53), it was extended during the Vietnam War (1959–75) to the Army, Navy and Marines. Most higher level SERE students are military aircrew and special operations personnel considered to be at high risk of capture. Training for the US Army SERE School is located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and at Fort Rucker, Alabama. | COL Robert L. Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions. | “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Gen. George S. Patton | Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Training, SERE is a program that provides military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and private military contractors with training in evading capture, survival skills and the military code of conduct. Established by the United States Air Force at the end of the Korean War (1950–53), it was extended during the Vietnam War (1959–75) to the Army, Navy and Marines. Most higher level SERE students are military aircrew and special operations personnel considered to be at high risk of capture. Training for the US Army SERE School is located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and at Fort Rucker, Alabama. | COL Robert L. Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions. | “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Gen. George S. Patton | Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Training, SERE is a program that provides military personnel, Department of Defense civilians and private military contractors with training in evading capture, survival skills and the military code of conduct. Established by the United States Air Force at the end of the Korean War (1950–53), it was extended during the Vietnam War (1959–75) to the Army, Navy and Marines. Most higher level SERE students are military aircrew and special operations personnel considered to be at high risk of capture. Training for the US Army SERE School is located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and at Fort Rucker, Alabama. | COL Robert L. Howard served five tours in Vietnam and is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions. | “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Gen. George S. Patton

40: OUR HERO | Gary, I have known you for many years and count it a blessing to have you as a friend. You have been to our Iowa camps, visited our schools many times, spoke at our youth groups and our Churches. I think if I could say one thing it would be that you are one of the few people I know that has not disappointed me in my Spiritual growth process. I know you would say you are just a ‘Glove,’ but there are just a handful of people that are like the energizer bunny... you just keep going and going and although you are slowing down just a bit (like us all), you continue doing the Lord’s work. At the end of your journey, I know you will receive a “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” which is all any of us would like to attain. Nelsene Beck and Family | Photos from Nelsene Beck

42: Glenhaven Youth Ranch | Photos by Quentin Swafford

43: Glenhaven Youth Ranch

44: Dear Gary, At 18 years old, I was inspired, encouraged, and challenged after listening to your message in March 1987 at Hicksville High School in Hicksville, Ohio. I’m continued to be inspired every day after through your ministry. You became a father figure to me and I am eternally grateful for the godly wisdom, guidance, and affirmation that you have given me as I sought to glorify God in singleness. Thank you for always encouraging me to seek first, His kingdom and His righteousness. In 2001, after you inspired me to wait for God's best, I was married to a godly man, and He has now blessed us with two children through adoption. Words will never be able to express my gratitude for all you have done for me. 24 years later and into eternity and amidst diapers, dishes and discipline, I'm thanking God for you and all you have done for His Kingdom and praying for you! Gratefully, Laura Rhoades (& also my husband Matt, and our two miracles ~ Selah, 4; Nate,2) | Gary, I wanted to say that I've always appreciated your input into our lives after Laura introduced us at a Retreat you were speaking at in Indiana. We've only met a few times but you've always blessed me and encouraged me and helped me realize that I'm on the right path. To always stand for what’s right and true has a price but its still the path that Jesus would have us walk. You recommended that I read "Lone Survivor" and to date I've read it 5 times. It always moves me to tears and has changed my life in many ways much like the Bible has done. The struggle those Seals had that day is much like our struggle with good and evil on this earth. Our prayers are with you and we appreciate you. May God continue to pour His blessings into your life in the coming days. Matt Rhoades | Photos from Laura & Matt Rhodes | Photos from Laura & Matt Rhodes | Photos from Laura & Matt Rhodes | Photos from Laura & Matt Rhodes | Photos from Laura & Matt Rhodes | Photos from Laura & Matt Rhodes

45: Gary, Your friendship and gracious spirit have been of great comfort and encouragement to us over the years. Your faithfulness to our Lord is evident and we thank you for your example in a world that needs that kind of example. Mary and I will never forget how you stood beside us in a number of difficult times, and we wish we could be with you during this "tribute" to a dear friend and fellow soldier. We grieve with you over the loss of little Shane, and pray he will meet our little Devin; and they will both welcome you, Mary, Ruth and I into God's great heaven one day. May your life continue to impact others for Christ. You are one of our heroes and a true friend. Larry & Mary Waters

47: To our dear "old" friends, Ruthie, Gary and Tammy. We love you dearly and I always remember our times at Ft. Benning, especially when Ruth sacrificed being clean to run with me and get all sweaty, which memory lasted for the many years I jogged without her. Y’all have had such an impact on young lives as you followed the Plan, and the impact lasted on me as well. Everyone should have a best friend like Ruth! If you keep going on, I guess we will have to do our part and send up prayers continuously for your mission and for little Shane. Much Love, Lynn, Nancy, Laura, Max, Fritz, Emily and Josie | To our dear "old" friends, Ruthie, Gary and Tammy. We love you dearly and I always remember our times at Ft. Benning, especially when Ruth sacrificed being clean to run with me and get all sweaty, which memory lasted for the many years I jogged without her. Y’all have had such an impact on young lives as you followed the Plan, and the impact lasted on me as well. Everyone should have a best friend like Ruth! If you keep going on, I guess we will have to do our part and send up prayers continuously for your mission and for little Shane. Much Love, Lynn, Nancy, Laura, Max, Fritz, Emily and Josie | Tribute to Gary Horton: It was September 10th, 2001 – we will never forget ten years ago when you came to the Mobile area to talk to students at Mobile College. The day you arrived, the three of us went out to dinner at Ed’s Seafood. You talked to the owner’s daughter about Jesus Christ and gave her one of your special coins. The next day was September 11th, 2001. That night you were invited to speak at Grace Fellowship Church in Fairhope. The group gathered to hear a heart-felt, inspiring message concerning the events of the day. The next day, we had originally planned a one-hour session at Cottage Hill Christian Academy. The session turned into an all-day event with you speaking not only to the student body but to various classes where you helped the students process the events of 9-11. Truly, in the midst of disaster, God opened doors to minister His Word and grace to many students who were now ready to hear your message. This is one of the great memories we have of you speaking in the Fairhope/Mobile, Alabama area over the many years. Because of your faithfulness in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of freedom, there will be a crown of righteousness laid up for you in glory. Love in Christ, Bill and Susan Morgan | To our dear "old" friends, Ruthie, Gary and Tammy. We love you dearly and I always remember our times at Ft. Benning, especially when Ruth sacrificed being clean to run with me and get all sweaty, which memory lasted for the many years I jogged without her. Y’all have had such an impact on young lives as you followed the Plan, and the impact lasted on me as well. Everyone should have a best friend like Ruth! If you keep going on, I guess we will have to do our part and send up prayers continuously for your mission and for little Shane. Much Love, Lynn, Nancy, Laura, Max, Fritz, Emily and Josie

48: A teacher once stated that Gary was a master storyteller. He has collected stories of modern day witnesses to the glory of a life lived in self-negating service to others. These are warriors, from past conflicts as well as present ones, whose lives and examples are just as powerful and instructive as the witnesses in Hebrews chapter 11. Many of these stories are of "war heroes” and it is war that is being waged in the hearts and minds of our youth within our communities and schools. This is the area of operations of AFA. As Gary says, "it makes all the miles and time away from family worthwhile when God is able to present the truth in a powerful way that cannot be denied." Thank you Ruth and Tammy for being Gary’s support during the miles and weeks you are apart, so the call of our God and this nation can be answered. I first heard Gary speak around 1980. Because of his ministry in the Birmingham, AL area, post-college I joined the Army. For eight years, I served at all ranks from private through captain in two different Airborne Ranger Battalions as well as the 10th Mountain Division. I have heard his speech many times. I am not ashamed to tell you that it can still move me to tears. Col. Ken Curcio, USMC (28 years of service and a Gulf War veteran) and his wife Sharon accompanied us. We all were impacted by the powerful presentation of the truth and watching Gary work. Once the assemblies are set up, my hardest job is to maintain composure, especially on seeing the response of these kids hungry and grateful for the truth. The reason this occurs is because of Him and His presence. The power of these programs and the way He orchestrates it is supernatural. Several principals stated, "I had no idea this program would be so powerful.” Our nation is under attack. The most dangerous attack is the one from within. Our future depends on the choices of our youth. AFA and Gary pour themselves out so that these young people have a fighting chance against the stacked deck of our enemy. At the end of the week, after the spiritual high that the warrior experiences in a hard fought yet successful battle, fatigue sets in. Gary goes home a spent canister looking to rest, refit, and spend time with family. The enemy waits for the next engagement (in Iowa). The story continues . Lives and fates are in the balance. Let us all saddle up, put on our armor, and wage the good fight. Support this ministry in prayer, giving or in any way that you are led. So much depends on where we are and what we think and do, both individually and nationally, over the next few years. God bless us all and may God bless America. Stand Firm (Stete), Bill and Monette Sexton

49: Gary, You have been there at the great peaks of our life. You pinned my tab in 1982 and married me to the most beautiful woman and the love of my life in 1983 (even though you could hardly stand with a 104 degree temperature). Little did we know that once we began bringing you and AFA to NC, our lives and direction would be irretrievably changed. After four or five years, we ended up selling our farm, business and giving away most all else to move to Asia to serve the One you have given your life to honor and magnify. Gary, I know of very few that seek to give of themselves to others to the extent that you do. Even the motorcycle accident came from a desire to serve us. As two recipients of many of your gifts of grace, we thank you for your life, who you are and what you stand for. We are grateful for the way you have used your life to influence ours for Him. Enjoy your day and the many others which will follow behind it. Ecc 9:7-9 Rangers Lead the Way, Bill and Monette Sexton

50: AFGHANISTAN Mission 2004 | Gary, Aram, John & Pete at FOB Camp Salerno. July 3, 2004 | Gary & Pete, while in Kandahar recognizing the ultimate sacrifice of one of our fallen warriors. | June 30, 2004 Horton thanking the Commander of Unit LTF 725th for her quick and efficient response in assembling over 200 troops, even though we showed up without prior notice. Thank you Captain!

51: Gary boarding blackhawk for FOB Salarno. | Meeting with the Bagram base commander and CSM Green whom we discovered knew of COL Thieme’s ministry. God, through this encounter opened the doors for us to achieve our mission objectives, salute our troops, thank them for their sacrifice and to share the grace gospel of Jesus Christ – openly and without restraint – with them. | Photos from | John Dyer | You cannot choose the battlefield God does that for you. But you can plant the colors Where the colors never flew. RB Thieme, Jr quoted in Bible Class | Photos from | John Dyer | You cannot choose the battlefield God does that for you. But you can plant the colors Where the colors never flew. RB Thieme, Jr quoted in Bible Class

52: Bagram 6/30/04 - 7:30PM - LTF725 unit (over 200 troops) Nothing was in place upon arrival. In a moment Horton "had them"! | Air traffic controller John Koch, four months old IN Christ. As we ministered to him, he ministered to us in so many ways. He was a true "ray of light" providing us with those details and needs we hadn't even thought of! Thank you John, | A true testimony to God's perfect timing and amazing provisions, LT COL. Cheryl Dobrinske, was beside herself at our motel as she was attempting to catch the C5A that God had rerouted to get us to Bagram. She was calmed down when handed a cup of coffee by Horton. The connection was immediate and amazing! What we didn’t know was that she would later play a major role in the final days of our ministry to the troops in Kandahar, a ‘hotbed’ of combat engagements. | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer | Photos by John Dyer

53: Marine flight line: Pete, Chaplain, MAJ. Bryan Simoneaux, Gary and John. More provisions of God's great support and leadership to accomplish our mission. | Right: One impressive group of young Marines on the front line couldn’t get enough out of Horton who had turned “just another day on the front” into one “refreshing engagement”! You could see it in their faces! | Below: Kandahar encounter with the nationals working on a memorial to their own fallen warriors. Gary giving them his coins with Jn.3:16 on them – in their language. One actually was placed in the concrete at the base of the memorial. Talk about historical impact! | July 4th, 2004 Horton on the stage, addressing the seasoned warriors of the 501st at FOB Salerno, CPT. Aram Donigian’s division of several hundred troops. It was Aram's single effort, having sat before Gary as a teenager in highschool that enabled this entire mission to take place. Well done Brother!

54: Gary, what an enormous honor and privilege it was to have walked those sands of Afghanistan with you and Pete. To watch God, through you, was seriously impressive as you "walked around in the souls” of those honorable warriors – as you have in the past when you stood before them in their schools. To behold, on the battlefields of life, the laughter, the silent respect and then the tears unabashedly flowing down the cheeks of those warriors was truly Amazing Grace in action. Then, there was that moment when you “walked around” in my soul, thus allowing The Holy Spirit to release me from one of my "bunkers.” I thank you, Brother. It truly was a visual aid to all of us who have had (and will have) our souls “overrun” as we ”run our race for Christ's sake" in accordance to His Perfect Will, Timing and Plan! You are loved, Brother! John Dyer | Thank you Aram

55: God continued to amaze us as Gary had yet another opportunity to speak to approximately 200 of these SAME troops a second time. First at FOB Salerno and again at Bagram AFB as they were returning to the states and home. Simply God’s perfect timing in action! | A little background of the 501st. By late 2003, Task Force Geronimo, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and was fully established at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Salerno, in the vicinity of the city of Khowst near the eastern border of Afghanistan where it successfully conducted combat operations in the region. These troops were completing their eleven month tour of duty when we arrived.

56: Ranger Horton! Thinking back to ’73, I look at the influence you had and still have on my life. As you have come to my memory throughout the years, I thank God that he brought you into my life. Your influence started with talking me out of joining the SF and into the “Ranger Enlisted Option” program. This brought us through Basic, AIT, Airborne, Ranger, and our first assignment at Co C (Airborne Ranger) 2/75th Infantry, fondly known as Charlie Rangers. You took a young Believer under your wing and mentored him through 8 months of intensive training. You showed me by your example the application of Grace, always bringing up Doctrinal principles. I recall so many shared experiences. For example, the weekly midnight haircuts from your hidden contra-band hair clippers, making DS Maldanado wonder why we never needed a haircut. The E&E we did in AIT during POW training and “finding” the actual site, which we left our calling card. I still wonder how you ever got the special duty of driving the water buffalo during our bivouac. Your humor was infectious as you demonstrated in so many ways. A few examples come to mind. Our catching of grasshoppers in basic and AIT arguing over who was to get the head, then we would watch our fellow trainees reactions as we would devour our prey. Another event was your renowned one-arm pushups as well as your doing pushups with me sitting on your back, just to name a few. In Airborne, we had Stan (Gods perfect timing) and a couple of other Believers in our group. That was a good time of fellowship. Ranger School was something else. What a grueling test of endurance and the application of Doctrine through God’s Grace. Throughout the course, you continued to mentor me in the Lord, encouraging me when I was facing what seemed insurmountable hurtles. Finally, we graduated on Valentine'’s Day (how appropriate, or, what a sick sense of humor). When we got to Charlie Rangers the training pressure was off, and we could finally be back with our families. In each phase we went through, I was always impressed with how you would turn any opportunity into one of proclaiming the way of Salvation to those around us. I never tired of watching how you would do it. When we were ‘manning’ various objectives you would begin telling joke after joke grabbing the attention of others until they were virtually spellbound.

57: Continued on next page | Brothers | Continued on next page | Continued on next page | Continued on next page | Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin | Band of

58: Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin | Photos by | Craig Morin

59: You would then slowly transition the jokes into Biblical truths, culminating with the direct presentation of the whole Gospel message. Over and over again, you presented the Gospel to other Rangers and support personnel who had never heard it or had gotten away from the Word. Do you remember the time we were out on a freezing night waiting for vehicles to bring our team back to “civilization”? We were near a shack that the Ranger Instructors were in, who were enjoying the comforts of a pot-bellied stove? Do you remember that someone lobbed a smoke grenade inside the shack which began to catch the shack on fire? That resulted in a great diversion for our team as the cadre had to flee the comforts of their “hooch” while we were being chewed out and interrogated “in formation” for the guilty party to ‘fess up”. You can remember my surprise when you told me who did it. LOL. How about the time our team was sent down to Florida to “aggress” the Ranger students in their swamp phase? Trouble was we got there 3 days early so you and I conducted our own E&E back to Benning and our families. How could we ever, in our wildest imagination, know that a hurricane would come in right after we left, resulting in our unit looking all over the Florida pan-handle for us. Good thing we had an “old school” Sergeant, SFC Riley, covering for us all during our absence “without leave”. Did we ever get an earfull when we got back? I always enjoyed our guard duty assignments where you were picked as “Super Uno” for best Ranger. What fond memories I have of that first year plus assigned together in the Army. I know at times I was a challenge to your patience and Faith Rest. Fortunate for me, you were a mature Believer. Your influence followed me all throughout my 34 years of active/reserve duty. Thank you Gary for the time you spent training me in the Word and being a strong Christian role model. I will always thank the Lord for your ministry to me. Rangers Lead the Way! In His Grace, Your 'Ol’ Ranger buddy, Craig

60: Amy Frederic Aram Donigian Bill & Lynda Simril Bill & Monette Sexton Bill & Susan Morgan Brian Zentis (PA Youth Camp) Bobbi Van Reet Boyce Smith Craig Morin David & Bonnie Hughes Denny Gorsh Don & Jeanne Oakland Ernie Tomlinson Jackie Broadhead Janelle Reber Jeremy Preston Jerry & Jean Wilson John Chase | John & Lynne Dyer Ken & Sharon Curcio Larry and Mary Waters Lisa McCarrell Lori Horton Lowell Lytle Maggy Blackman Matt & Laura Rhodes Matt & Sharon Mallory Matt Drumm Nancy Smith Nelsene Beck Paula Roberts Pete Stadler Quinton and Beverly Swafford Tod Kennedy Wilkie, Mueller, West and Owsley | Photos, tributes and comments contributed by:

61: If you're looking to follow my Lord into battle, add your name to the list over there!

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  • By: Lisa M.
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  • Title: A Tribute to the faithful ministry of Ranger Gary Horton
  • To a warrior for Jesus Christ, who faithfully continues to run your race, we consider it an honor to salute you this day, Ranger Gary Horton. The impact that you have had upon so many young lives, as you have proclaimed Christ, Honor and Patriotism throughout this land for over 30 years is beyond measure and its fruit will not be fully revealed until we all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
  • Tags: ranger, gary, Horton, tribute, ministry, american, freedom, Assembly, youth, high, school, Afghanstan
  • Published: about 3 years ago