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Articles > Success: > Be ResponsibleóDo Right

Be ResponsibleóDo Right

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."1

Today's Daily Encounter was written by Commander Eric J. Berryman.

The USS Astoria (C-34) was the first U.S. cruiser to engage the Japanese during the Battle of Savo Island, a night action fought 8-9 August 1942. Although she scored two hits on the Imperial flagship Chokai, the Astoria was badly damaged and sank shortly after noon, 9 August.

About 0200 hours a young midwesterner, Signalman 3rd Class Elgin Staples, was swept overboard by the blast when the Astoria's number one eight-inch gun turret exploded. Wounded in both legs by shrapnel and in semi-shock, he was kept afloat by a narrow life belt that he managed to activate with a simple trigger mechanism.

At around 0600 hours, Staples was rescued by a passing destroyer and returned to the Astoria, whose captain was attempting to save the cruiser by beaching her. The effort failed, and Staples, still wearing the same life belt, found himself back in the water. He was picked up again, this time by the USS President Jackson (AP-37), he was one of 500 survivors of the battle who were evacuated to Noumea.

On board the transport, Staples, for the first time, closely examined the life belt that had served him so well. It had been manufactured by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, and bore a registration number.

Given home leave Staples told his story and asked his mother, who worked for Firestone, about the purpose of the number on the belt. She replied that the company insisted on personal responsibility for the war effort, and that the number was unique and assigned to only one inspector. Staples remembered everything about the lifebelt, and quoted the number. It was his mother's personal code and affixed to every item she was responsible for approving.2

When we always do what is right, the person we help the most in many ways is most likely to be our own self and that of our loved ones.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me always to do what is rightóno matter whatóso that my life will not be lived in vain, and so that when I get to the end of life's journey, I will hear Your welcome words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.' Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV).
2. Commander Eric J. Berryman, U.S. Naval Reserve, Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, vol. 15/6/1036 (June 1989), P. 48; via Cited on PreachingNow, March 28, 2006.


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

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