Congratulations to Chaplain Youstra who was promoted to the rank of colonel! He is serving at the Pentagon as the Joint Staff Chaplain and Chief of Religious Affairs on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Youstra also acts as the advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as his personal chaplain. We rejoice that Colonel Youstra has been recognized as a competent, senior leader. Our prayers go with you, George (and Rose), as you embrace and undertake with joy these responsibilities to represent the King of Kings and Lord of Lords at the highest level of our military.
Lt Col George Youstra who is deployed overseas as Staff Action Officer in the office of the Command Chaplain at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, recently was given the distinguished honor of speaking and offering a prayer of remembrance at the 65th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. He was the only American officer to speak at the event. Here is a copy of his remarks: “We stand here today for no other reason than to honor those who gave the last full measure of their devotion and those who selflessly risked all so many could live. History records that at least 101 heroes gave their lives so that millions could live. But do you really know these people? These weren’t senior officers….they were the age of my son, 24…mainly lieutenants, captains, and junior enlisted. Here are just a few: 1Lt Charles King grew up in little Britton SD, got an appointment to West Point. But at 0100 in foul weather he hit a building while trying to land. America took him home to his family and buried him in the great plains of South Dakota. Captain William Howard was born in the small town of Coahoma, MS. He enlisted in the Army during the war but became an officer. It was a dark stormy night when his plane crashed into another plane and all were lost……leaving a wife without a husband and a baby without a father….so America took another one of her children home and buried him in the red clay of Mississippi. Robert Von Luehrte was from Covington, KY…right across the river from Cincinnati. One night while flying a load of coal into Berlin he had engine trouble…..instead of crashing the plane into the population center of the city….he guided his plane into the Russian controlled sector and crashed….so America carried another child home to be buried in the Bluegrass State. In the Christian New Testament of Scripture, Jesus Christ tells us: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” Each one of the people who served in the Berlin Airlift did so with the willing heart to sacrifice their lives for those who could neither feed themselves nor defend themselves….today, those of us who wear this uniform are their living legacy. Let’s pray: Almighty God, may we remember your words to have hearts willing to selflessly serve those who cannot defend themselves, those who cannot feed themselves, those who cannot cloth themselves. You have called us to serve one another. May we be living legacies to all those who have gone before and inspire those who follow us to be willing to give all they have as well. May we heed the words of the Prophet Micah who challenged us to: do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. In your precious and holy name, AMEN.”
Chaplain Youstra spent the first 14 years of his military career serving in the United States Army where he served as a Special Forces, Infantry, Military Police Officer and Chaplain. He has been an Infantry Company Commander, Special Force Detachment Commander & Battalion Chaplain. Chaplain Youstra entered the Air Force Chaplain Corps in 1998. He has been deployed to Iraq and recently returned from Afghanistan where he supervised the largest Air Force chapel staff in the country and the Combined Joint Theater Hospital chapel staff. Chaplain Youstra was born in Greenville, SC. He is married to the former Rose Workman, of Normal, IL. They have two sons, George & Taylor. Chaplain Youstra is a member of the Brighton Chapel Grace Brethren Church in northern Indiana where he pastored from 1991-1998. George transferred his endorsement to the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches in 2011. Endorsing Agent John Schumacher notes that Lt Col Youstra is an outstanding chaplain and officer. George and Rose were able to attend National Conference this past summer in Wooster, OH and meet fellow Grace Brethren Chaplains and their wives. He is 6’8” and so makes a considerable “presence” whereever he goes. Schumacher adds that George is a superb role model for the younger chaplains. He and Rose have led a number of marriage enrichment retreats for his airmen. These retreats have reached out to over 500 of airmen and their wives. George and Rose deeply appreciate your prayers in their behalf!