Dr. Tim Clinton: Welcome back to Family Talk. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, co-host of the broadcast here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm honored to serve alongside Dr. Dobson as resident authority and mental health and relationships here at JDFI. Thank you for joining us again today.
Memorial Day was yesterday and we had a wonderful guest on the program discussing the greatest generation ever World War II and his time in service. His name retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin. He is a highly decorated man with numerous awards and accommodations including the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Currently, Jerry serves as executive vice president of Family Research Council in Washington, DC. He's one of the original members of the US Army's Delta Force. During his 36-year military career, General Boykin was involved in numerous high-profile missions. He's an ordained minister with a passion for the gospel and he encourages Christians everywhere to become warriors in God's kingdom. General Boykin and his wife Ashley enjoy spending time with their five grown children and a growing number of grandchildren.
General, welcome back to Family Talk. Again, Dr. Dobson and his wife Shirley send their regards. Hey, it's May 30th. Feels like summer, doesn't it? We're so glad to have you back on the broadcast.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Yeah, it really does and I'm kind of glad to see summer come. But let me just say this up front. I do this program with you because I love everything that you guys do and Dr. Dobson has been a real hero of mine for quite some time. So give him and Shirley my regards please.
Dr. Tim Clinton: I will do that for sure. And I know he has such love and admiration for you, General. General, yesterday we talked a lot about war, how it affects families back home. I was reading a piece about D-Day. There were 46 sets of brothers who died there on the beaches of Normandy. General, I mean, it's just staggering to think about the atrocity of war, the impact on families. I guess I'd like to open up there and just begin talking about more of what it's like to reflect on a country that sometimes doesn't appreciate those who serve and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Yeah. You know, my dad was one of five brothers that all served. They didn't serve in the same theater in World War II, but some were in the Pacific, some were in the Atlantic. And they were all very proud of their service. But as I have said on a previous program, they didn't necessarily want to talk to their families about it. They wanted to talk to each other and to talk to their battle buddies or their shipmates or whatever the case might be. But growing up in a family that had five of six boys in the theaters fighting in World War II certainly established an expectation for me. I don't know that this was something that my dad expected or any of the family, but to me I expected to go into military when I came out of Virginia Tech. I expected to go into military because revered these guys that had fought in World War II and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. I wanted to be just like them. I wanted to do my part.
My name was Boykin and they had already established the legacy of Boykin men serving in the military. So when I came out of Virginia Tech, I got commissioned and I went right into the military right away. The next day I went into the military. But then guess what? Two of my three boys served in the military. The third one had a medical problem that he couldn't serve, but he tried. So they picked up that legacy and they carried on with that legacy. Now what will my grandchildren do? At least two of them are already talking about wanting to be in the military. So it's about establishing legacies. It's about establishing something that is bigger than yourself, establishing a legacy of something that is greater than you, a transcendent cause. And I was so delighted to see my boys.
I didn't necessarily care whether they did a career like I did, but I was glad to see them serve because I think that there is a certain pride that you can take in serving your country and being able to say, "I'm a veteran." No, I never went to war. I never shot anything in combat, but I served, which means I was willing to put it all on the line for this country. And let me tell you, as I go around, I taught leadership at a college when I got out of the military. And I'll tell you something, I could tell who was homeschooled or who had been to a Christian school the first night of class. And that was because those that knew American history had either been homeschooled or they'd been in a Christian school. Those who didn't, they went to public schools, they didn't know American history. And it was so obvious.
And that's a bad thing as far as I am concerned that we have a generation now that don't know American history. They don't know what we are. They don't know what our founding fathers were trying to achieve. But most importantly, they don't know the sacrifices that have been made for the whole world, not just for America, but the sacrifices that America has made for the whole world because we believe in an idea, and that idea is representative government. That idea is individual freedoms.
And now if you look at what's happening in America today, you can go right back to the foundations of the problems we're having today, a lot of it goes back to the fact that we don't know who we are because it was deliberately taken out of our curriculums in our schools and it was taken out by the Marxist movement. And it's up to us, us that would love America to write that wrong, to fix it, and to get our country back on a track to where we're proud to be Americans because we know that we have a legacy of service and sacrifice. And I better stop right there or I'll be accused of preaching.
Dr. Tim Clinton: General. I remember March 17th, 1978. I made my way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, raised my right hand, I'll never forget that day. I remember showing up at Fort Sill, Oklahoma for basic training. Now we were in the reception center and there a pile of us boys showing up on that top floor, open bunk Bay Area, everybody doing pushups in front of each other, all that kind of stuff. We had no idea what we were about to walk into as we walked out. They put us on those cattle trucks and hauled us out to our basic training site. The drill sergeants were all lined up with their Smokey the bear hats on, okay? And as we pulled in, they came running with these clubs like, they started beating on the tractor trailer and we were coming out of the back of it and thus began a journey for this old boy who grew up in central Pennsylvania.
But General, there's a piece in here that's so beautiful because you're right and appreciation for what it means to live free. General, we're in that week ahead of June 6th, and we reflect on D-Day, Disembarkment Day, June 6th, 1944. I think I got this right, your dad, was he there that day?
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: That's where he was wounded.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Wow. General, I live not very far from a small town in Central Virginia, Bedford, Virginia, where per capita that town lost more of their boys on the beaches of Normandy than any other town, any other city in the entire country. And the D-Day Memorial is there. It's a very sobering time on June 6th in Bedford, Virginia. But General, can you reflect on D-Day and its significance to you?
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Yeah. Of course I was not alive at that time, but let me tell you, I have studied D-Day. In terms of military history, I've studied D-Day. And by the way, I have watched Saving Private Ryan no less than 15 times. I've watched the Band of Brothers no less than 20 times. But those movies reflect one of the boldest operations in history. And by the way, if America had not won on those beaches, can you imagine what today's world would've been like?
Dr. Tim Clinton: No idea, General.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: It's unimaginable. And this is the same thing for the Battle of the Bulls. The Battle of the Bulls was in fact probably the most important battle in World War II because that was the point where we either won or lost. So we came ashore on D-Day, June 6th, 1944, and then we wound up fighting a battle called the Battle of the Bulge in December and January. That was either going to win the war or it was going to end the war by America retreating. And there was no possibility that America was going to retreat.
So if you look at... And I've been to Normandy, and oh my gosh, I wish that every American could go to Normandy. It makes you so proud when you walk through that cemetery and you realize that the only thing that America asked for was a place to bury our dead. You think about that. We're not conquerors. We don't fight to take somebody else's land, to take somebody else's property. We fight to preserve what we hold dear. The Judeo-Christian foundations of this nation lead us to believe that it is worth fighting for a principle. Not just for a thing, but for a principle. And I believe that's what America has done repeatedly in support of our allies, in support of people that can't defend themselves.
And that's why I tell people today, and I get this all the time, "My son's going into the military. What would you say to him as he goes into the military?" And this is what I say to him. I say, "Number one, know what you believe. Don't leave. Don't go in the military until you know what you believe. But more importantly, know why you believe it." because if you don't know why you believe it, you're going to run into some guy that is on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum and he's going to take you down because you can't say for certain why you believe in certain things, why you have the values that you have. I used to tell that to the guys that I taught when I was teaching in college. That remains true today. We as Americans and we as Christians have to know what we believe and we have to know why we believe it.
Tim, that is why being in the word of God every day, no matter how much you read, you need to read something in the word every day because that is how God will enlighten you. That is how the Lord will bring you closer to him as you read His word and it has a message for you. And let me tell you something, in World War II, on the day that those men hit those beaches, they had bibles. Have you ever seen one? They had bibles. They were about this big.
Dr. Tim Clinton: I have one, General.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: I've got two of them. They got pocket Bibles and they even had, some of them did, most of them did, a little metal plate over the Bible. There's a prayer in there that was... The president of the United States actually wrote a prayer and put that prayer in the front of that Bible. Do you think we could get away with that today? We have lost some of the most fundamental things that we as a nation have depended on for so long, like our freedom of worship, the First Amendment.
Dr. Tim Clinton: General, I was reading Eric Metaxas's book, Letter to the American Church, and reflected on what was happening in Germany at the time. We know the Holocaust and all that took place, the atrocities, and the defenseless really and more. General, there was a mission. And we had to be on mission to make something happen. Because you're right, had not our boys hit the beaches and fought for freedom, who knows where we would be in this world today? General, Dr. Dobson has such a love and passion for Winston Churchill. I know he reflects back on leadership and the significance of Churchill during that day. He had a beautiful portrait of Churchill in his office. He won the Winston Churchill Award, I think, at a Ralph Reed event. But General, leadership. Talk to us about leadership, especially wartime leadership and more and why it's so significant.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Wartime leadership is particularly difficult if you are not prepared mentally. You have to realize that several things are going to happen. One is you're going to send men into harm's way. Period. You're going to send them into harm's way. And you have to remember that there is no second chance when you send men into harm's way. What am I saying? I'm saying use every moment you have to train them and prepare them to survive and come home alive. What are we doing today with our military? What are our leaders doing? They have them tied up in this critical race theory in this woke agenda and they're spending enormous amounts of time doing stuff that does not contribute to readiness, does not contribute to preparing for war. And the price that we're ultimately going to pay for that is in the blood of our soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines because we're wasting their preparation time.
And I'll tell you, every leader in the military today that is allowing that kind of nonsense to go on, instead of having them out there preparing for war on the rifle range out in the wooded areas, learning how to fight and honing their skills, everybody that's responsible for that ultimately should be held accountable because we've got powerful enemies today. And it's not absurdity that we can beat them at this point because just take the Navy for example. The Chinese have the largest Navy today, and that's frightening. Now the equalizer is that the American soldiers are united. American soldiers are fighting for a cause and they have something they believe in. But let me say this to you, my biggest fear is that this nonsense that we're doing called wokeism is going to divide these soldiers. You see the Ukrainians are winning because they are united, because they're fighting for a purpose. And the Russians are getting kicked all over the battlefield because they don't really have the unity in the units.
And now we're sitting people down and we're saying, "All of you on this side, you are oppressors. And all of you on this side, you're the oppressed. And by the way, the people that oppressed, you are these people over here on this side." How does that build unity? Congress should be very careful today not to make any decisions about our military until they have considered how does this support the readiness of our military and our ability to fight and win. Douglas MacArthur said in 1962 at the West Point Mess Hall, he stood up before all those cadets and he looked at them and he said, "Your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win the nation's war." He didn't say to guard the border, he didn't say to clean up the drug trade. He said it is to win the nation's war. You tell me. You make a case if you can, and you can't, for why we're spending so much time on stuff that does nothing but divide us and reduce our capability.
Dr. Tim Clinton: General, I couldn't agree more. I mean it's troubling to me. God help us. And in the midst of it, General, I know you serve as executive vice president at Family Research Council. Tell us a little bit about your work there. I know, again, defending those without a voice. And how can we be praying for you and for Tony Perkins and more?
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Yeah. Well, let me ask that question first. First of all, pray for our stamina, pray for our protection. We've had some... One of our guys who was shot there in our building. So pray for our stamina, pray for our protection, and pray for our wisdom that we will be doing what God has called us to do, not just what we want to do. And what we do, we are were started by Dr. Dobson. He wanted a presence in Washington, a forward presence. And so he created the Family Research Council and we worked with the Congress with public policy. We helped them on all things regarding faith, family, and freedom. We have a pastor's network, we have a men's network. We lobbied the government. We actually endorse candidates through our 501(c)(4).
We come in behind pastors and behind military people whose First Amendment rights are challenged. We come in behind them and rally support for them. But it's a real privilege to be there. We really do a lot of research on families and we can tell you a lot about what's necessary for a healthy family structure. We can tell you a lot about what's happening in the families today with regards to absentee fathers. That's one of the major problems.
Dr. Tim Clinton: General, I know this is a special year at Family Research Council. It's the 40th anniversary. So if people are making their way up to Washington or they want to jump up online, just tell us a little bit about what's happening at FRC this special year.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Yeah, we're having celebration of the 40th year. We've got a video out. We've got some other things out that we have sent around to different churches and other institutions. And in September, we're actually going to have a Pray Vote Stand Summit. Part of that is going to be to honor Dr. Dobson and the founders of the Family Research Council, and it'll be right here in Washington.
Dr. Tim Clinton: So exciting. General, as we close, I mentioned that you have a passion for the gospel. It's about bringing people into a personal, vibrant relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and that you also encourage Christians to become warriors in God's kingdom. General, we can't close these last two days without a plea to those who are out there that we can change. We have hope. You have hope for America. General, you're a firm believer in it, but it starts with each and every one of us. And we can win this one family, one community, one church, one state at a time.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Absolutely. And again, God's promised was not that you'll win every battle. It was that, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you." And that promise stands today. We have to find our courage and we have to go and do things that we know the Lord is leading us to do even when we don't understand. It's just like those mothers over in Loudoun County, they changed the whole state in one county. The whole state got in behind them. And we've got to be willing to muster our courage and get out there and stand against evil.
Psalm 19, I think it's verse 16, says, "Who will take a stand against this evil for me? Who will rise up against these evildoers?" And that's talking to me and you and every other Christian. We've got to stand against evil. So don't go into your hiding place and say, "Well, my faith is a private thing." No, it's not a private thing. You need to put your faith into action. I need to put my faith into action and we need to stand for what we believe in and we need to call on the Lord to show us how we can have an impact. We can save this country. We're going to save this country, but it's going to be done through the sacrifice of the men and women that call themselves Christians.
Dr. Tim Clinton: General, it's been a delightful two-day series here. What a privilege to sit down with you. Thank you for sharing your testimony, your heart, some of your stories, your legacy, and so much more. And General, I know your time's precious, but we all salute you. Thank you for your service and I can't wait till we get you back on the broadcast again. On behalf of Dr. Dobson, his wife, Shirley, entire team, we do. We appreciate value and love you and pray that God will continue to strengthen you, your voice for such a time as this. Thank you for joining us.
Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Well, amen. And thanks for having me.
Roger Marsh: Well, what a profound message from Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin and his passionate discussion about service, duty, and honor featuring our own Dr. Tim Clinton here on Family Talk.
I hope the message over the past couple of days was very encouraging to you. And remember, if you missed any part of today's program or you'd like to listen to yesterday's program as well, just visit drjamesdobson.org/familytalk and you can listen to parts one and two in their entirety. Again, that's drjamesdobson.org/familytalk.
Man, I know that oftentimes you receive more pressure than praise. And so much is being asked of you these days, more so than when I was a young dad for managing finances to household vehicle maintenance, and most importantly, to making every possible effort to raise a godly family. It wasn't easy back then, it certainly isn't easy today. Finding time for rest and recharging your batteries, if you will, can be a challenge. But we want you to know that here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, we are here for you with an abundance of resources, prayer, and encouragement. That's why I want to urge every guy to sign up for the 10-day "Straight Talk To Men" email series. It will definitely help you sharpen the tools God has given you to live your life amidst today's confusing and sometimes broken culture. Now, to sign up, all you have to do is go to drjamesdobson.org/straighttalk. I think you will definitely receive great value from this series. Again, drjamesdobson.org/straighttalk.
And finally, before we leave the air for today, this reminder that the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute is completely listener supported. It is because of you, your prayers, and your faithful financial support that we are able to bring quality content to you each and every day, and also to provide valuable resources for you and your family. We would appreciate hearing from you right now with a show of support and perhaps a financial contribution as well. To find out more about how to support the JDFI so that we can continue to provide valuable resources to young families, simply go to drjamesdobson.org. And while you're there, find out about how we can support you as well. We would love to connect with you and to pray with and for you if that's what you need. Again, go to drjamesdobson.org, or reach us by phone at 877-732-6825. That's 877-732-6825. I'm Roger Marsh. And be sure to join us again next time right here for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.