Thanking Valor Veterans
There’s no way to thank our country’s military veterans for everything they sacrifice for our freedom, but on this Veterans Day, Valor is taking the opportunity to show our thankfulness for the service members in our community. Many Valor family members, alumni, and staff members have served our country as members of the United States military. Two of our staff veterans share memories of their life-transforming military experiences below.
AJ Kuhle, Advancement Officer & Head Boys Basketball Coach
United States Air Force
“Go, Serve, Transform & Lead,” encourages AJ Kuhle, who served in the United States Air Force (USAF) to the rank of captain from 2000-2007. “If you do this you are ready to accept the challenges ahead and you will be prepared for life.”
Flying inverted over Colorado’s 14ers in an F-16 was one of the coolest experiences for AJ, along with the time his combat survival team had to evade aggressors in the mountains during an expected storm which dropped 6-8 inches of snow.
“My Air Force experiences deepened my faith and allowed me to understand how meaningfully Jesus served others so deeply during his life,” explains AJ. “My role teaching students to lead during my time at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama prepared me to pursue this passion to serve.”
Lane Palmer, Bible Department Chair
United States Air Force
War Games between two branches of the military during his time at Buckley Air Force Base was one of Lane Palmer’s favorite pastimes. “Nothing beats war game training against the Army Rangers from Fort Carson,” remembers Lane, who served for nine years as a USAF E-6 Tech Sergeant. “Serving with a flight that was composed of Vietnam combat vets was an incredible experience. They had wisdom that came from very difficult circumstances.”
While serving during wartime, Lane acknowledged the importance of being in the world does not mean being of the world (John 15:19). The challenges during his military service helped Lane to defend his faith and joyously serve others. “I enlisted because I felt both a calling from God and a debt to the United States for the freedoms we enjoy.”
When talking with students who are considering a career in the military, Lane encourages them to be prayerful and thoughtful about the “why” behind their choice to serve. “Don’t believe everything your recruiter says,” advises Lane. “Make sure it fits into the bigger vision that you believe God has for your life.”