Updated: May 8
"....the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits" Daniel 11:32
We are excited to introduce you to our friend Chaplain Coy Reese. We met Coy when we were asked to take the KPM Leadership Academy to a group of Veterans within the Polunsky Unit (Maximum Security, Death Row Unit) in Livingston, Texas.
The veterans group had not been active for some time in this unit and they were looking for the right program. They desired to reactivate this group with something that would help them grow in their leadership. They were looking for something unique that would help them re-gain confidence in themselves while building their self-belief, value and worth. Well.... our program was a perfect fit! God is so good like that!
Coy has been instrumental in helping us advance our veterans program within this unit because he has served in this unit for the last 15 years. When we met him, there was an instant connection. He has become a tremendous friend and co-laborer for the Lord. Coy loves the Lord and has a powerful story of how God can turn what looks and feels like tragedy into a miraculous story of TRIUMPH. We know that you will be blessed as we share his life changing story.
In early 1969, a young 19 year old named Coy Reese stood before the American flag, raised his right hand and took an oath to serve this country. He stood proudly along with many others and enlisted in the United States Army.
After basic training and AIT, he went through Airborne Training (paratrooper school) at Fort Benning, GA.
From there, he went to Fort Bragg, NC for special forces training. "Special Forces" training prepares soldiers for activities including offensive raids, demolitions, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and counterterrorism. In addition to their combat training, "Special Forces" members often have specialized training in swimming, diving, parachuting, survival, emergency medicine, and foreign languages.
After graduating from Special Forces he got his orders to go to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam where he did two back to back tours. He then spent the next 15 months with B-55 Mike Force out of Nha Trang then he received orders to go to CCN (Command and Control North) out of Da Nang.
On paper, CCN was part of 5th Special Forces Group, but in actuality, they were under MAC-V-SOG (Military Assistance Command Vietnam Special Operations Group), a "top secret operations" which worked in conjunction with the CIA. It was held in such secrecy that they did not officially admit or identify this unit even existed until 2001.
Coy and his comrades ran top secret recon missions in Laos along the Ho Chi Minh trail. Generally, they would go out on these missions with six or eight man teams. Two or three would be Americans and the rest would be Montagnards or Chi Com (Chinese).
Anytime they got hit, they were greatly out numbered. Their only help was from air support because the closest friendly unit was a country away.
Coy said he lost track of how many friends were killed in action but he personally knew six men who still are Missing In Action today. Three of them were his very close friends.
During his service time he was awarded a bronze star and a purple heart for his bravery.
However, when he and others returned, there were no parades, marching bands or even a thank you for your service. His actions as a hero meant nothing to the pain that he was now enduring. You can only imagine the trauma of war that lived within him.
He suffered from severe PTSD and lived every day desperately trying to erase the haunting memories of the past. The thoughts and trauma from the past seemed to be trapped within him with no where to escape. Each day became a major struggle to cope as he dealt with extreme anxiety and depression. As you could only imagine it negatively affected everything and everyone in his day to day life.
His closest relationship became with alcohol. It was the only friend that he could depend on that could help bring some temporary peace from the pain of the past. So he began drinking to the point that the addiction increased to a daily dependency..... for years.
In 1995 Coy miraculously made the most important decision of his entire life. He decided to give his life to Jesus Christ. He shares that at that moment the Lord began delivering him from the torment he had remembered for years and He shared with tears in his eyes that God is still doing that today.
Today Coy wears the "De Oppresso Liber" emblem on a ball cap with great pride. This is a reminder of the mission he was commissioned to do for our country. However, during those years in war he never realized that God had his hand upon him and had a mission for him to serve in HIS Army before He ever invited Christ into his life.
The latin emblem reads "De Oppresso Liber" which means "To Free the Oppressed." God had called Coy to "Free the Oppressed." Just as he had gone into dark volatile enemy territory, God had called him to do that same thing. This time it would look different! He had called him to reach in the lives of those who had been held captive in prison, to drugs, alcohol, depression, un-forgiveness, anxiety or anything that kept them oppressed and in bondage.
Just like Coy, God is raising up His "Special Forces" to reach the world with his love, compassion and His Life Changing Word! We are called to share the ONLY thing that can set the captives free. The powerful life changing Word of Jesus Christ!
We are watching God's covert operation in the prisons and around the world. He's raising up an army of elite troops to go behind enemy lines and "Free the Oppressed."
We see a picture of this in the Bible, with Saul's special militia. The Word tells us, "There went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched" (I Samuel 10:26).
God's Special Forces are made up of warriors whose lives and hearts have been touched by his hand, trained in His Word and are ready to go to battle and fight for righteousness.
Today the Lord is looking for the "Special Forces" in the body of Christ. He is looking for every age, every race, every gender in every nation to join together in power and authority.
He is looking for people whose hearts have been touched to join the mission to see those who are oppressed and held captive to be set free!
If you haven't enlisted in God's Army....... NOW IS THE TIME!
We are excited to share that six incarcerated veteran students in the KPM Leadership Academy re-dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ! God's Word BRINGS FREEDOM!
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).