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Eidsmoe during an on-air interview at WTLS. Eidsmoe's church service from First Presbyterian Church in Tallassee is broadcast on Sundays at 8 a.m.

Veterans Day just means more

By Michael Butler

Veterans Day is Friday. And while the holiday may just mean a day off to some, to others it has a much deeper meaning. John Eidsmoe is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who will be speaking at a Veterans Day event on Friday in Montgomery.

"It will be at Greenwood Cemetery where the Vietnam Memorial is," Eidsmoe said. "We do this each year, both at Veterans Day and Memorial Day."

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Eidsmoe is also traveling to Fort Meyers, Fla. this week to attend a veterans breakfast and to address God and government.

Eidsmoe is a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Tallassee and Woodland Presbyterian Church in Notasulga. In addition, he is a professor at Oak Brook College of Law.

"Law and gospel are law and grace. We need the law to convict us of our sins. We need the gospel to show us the way of salvation, so they work together," said Eidsmoe, who resides in Pike Road but enjoys his time in Tallassee. "Tallassee is a beautiful town. It's quiet and peaceful."

Alabama is a long way from where Eidsmoe was born.

"I tell people I was born in a real southern state, South Dakota," he quipped. "I came here 30-something years ago with the Air Force and taught at what was Jones Law School, now Faulkner Law. I was there 15 years and then the (Alabama) Supreme Court. Then I came to a position as senior counsel for the Foundation for Moral Law. So, I use my legal skills there and then preach on Sunday mornings."

As for his military background, it began with Air Force ROTC in college at St. Olaf in Minnesota.

"I was commissioned and deferred active duty for law school," he said. "I entered the Air Force in 1971. I served five years of active duty and 18 years in the reserves. I served during Vietnam but not in Vietnam. I work with the Vietnam Veterans of America. I was a little uncertain whether I belonged there, but I just love the attitude. They say we couldn't have done our job over there if you hadn't done your job over here.

"I was proud to be in the military. There was a time when the military was held with a great deal of scorn. The military was being blamed for policies of the administration. We were in a war that the administration just didn't seem to have the will to win. We were cost a lot of lives, a lot of expense and hardship. Many people came out feeling they didn't get the welcome at home they were supposed to.

"Some gave the ultimate sacrifice. Everyone who served was willing to give that sacrifice. It's said that a veteran is one who wrote a check to the United States of America payable up to any amount, including my life. Most of us didn't have to make that ultimate sacrifice, but all of us were willing."