“I’ve got your six.” When someone says this to military personnel, they are stating a commitment. It’s an expression of loyalty and looking out for each other. The saying “got your six” originated with fighter pilots who would use “twelve o’clock” to indicate the front of their airplane and “six o’clock” to reference the rear of the aircraft. As a pilot heading into a brutal air battle, the six o’clock position is the most vulnerable to attacks from the enemy. It is your blind spot, your weak point. So, when another aviator says they’ve “got your six,” it means they have your back; they’re watching out for you.
The WELS members who protect our nation need us to make the extra effort to provide them with Word and sacraments and a supportive church family. They need us to “have their six” as they strive to stay close to their Savior. Often they are far from home, facing temptations and challenges, and spiritually vulnerable. This is why WELS has a special ministry to the military. If someone you know is in the military, you can provide WELS with contact information at wels.net/refer. We will serve them if we know how to reach them!
WELS Military Services shares the gospel of Jesus Christ with men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces and with civilians who live far away from their home congregations. These service men and women are shepherded by civilian chaplains and military contact pastors located at congregations near military installations. A national civilian chaplain communicates with those who are deployed and far from a church while military families in Europe are served by the European civilian chaplain who travels to conduct services in multiple locations.
WELS military member Michael Hefti and his family have made many moves during his years of service. They treasure the times that they have been stationed near a WELS congregation. “We have found personally that there is a big difference between livestreaming and being able to meet in-person and strengthen each other in the faith through that fellowship and through being able to take communion together in person.”
WELS Military Services also provides guidance directly to military members and their families. A weekly devotion focuses on the issues of military life. Resources on wels.net/military prepare recruits and their families for spiritual challenges. There is information for congregations seeking to encourage military members far from home. Detailed documents help military members navigate the military organization and gain permission to connect with a WELS pastor.
You can help us tell our brothers and sisters who serve this country “We’ve got your six” by supporting this ministry to military members. While we receive foundational support from the WELS budget, groups and individuals like you provide 80 percent of the financial support so that our military members, their families, and their colleagues can be served spiritually. Your gifts to the Military Services Fund can help us expand and strengthen this ministry that goes where your congregation and you cannot.
Director, WELS Commission on Special Ministries
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we pray for WELS military members and their families. Guide and protect them as they sacrifice the stability and comfort that most of us enjoy in order to protect our nation. Thank you for WELS Military Services, a ministry that aims to be there for these families, providing them with spiritual resources and personal connections. Guide and bless the efforts of the civilian chaplains and military contact pastors who lead this work. May these efforts ease the stresses of military life and help our WELS military service members to put their trust in you. Amen.