I received this email last week from a man I’d never met or even heard of. His story is a remarkable testimony of a faithful Christian witness and God’s saving grace. Don’t miss his 5 minute video testimony link at the end!
My name is Kaleb Dutil. I served with your son [Jared] in Iraq. We were in the same truck together. I have been searching for him off and on since about September of last year .
The reason being is I was saved that month. I had gone back and forth over the years trying to decide if I believed that this whole “GOD is our creator” thing was a bunch of BS or was this for real. Being the stubborn self-absorbed know it all, I thought there was no way some other being was in control of my life. I was in control.
I had a few experiences in my life that ultimately lead me to GOD and knowing Jesus Christ. First was my grandfather. He was a brother in the Catholic Church… a very humble man who many people had much respect for. He knew God better than most. He was always cool, calm, and collected.
Never did I see him upset or raise his voice. He had a glow about him that just always mesmerized me. When I got out of the Corp in 2006 he died. I could not go to his funeral. Fortunately, God allowed us time with him before he died and we knew he was going to die. I decided to go home and see him while he was still alive.
He did not have any profound words or advice for me. He did not need it. What I saw was enough. He was in a Catholic old folks home. They took great care of him. I got to see him after one of his last meetings with a priest to confess his sins. We were all saying: “you are a saint; what sins have you committed that you have not confessed?” His last confession was asking God for forgiveness for all the women he had been with during World War 2 in Europe. He said the American soldiers were treated like gods and the temptation was too much for him. I got a good laugh out of it at the time. Then he said, “I feel great and I am ready to die.” I could not believe how much he wanted to die. He could not wait to meet Jesus. That was when the seed was planted in me.
Rewind to 2005-06 in my Iraq deployment. I meet your son. I was an active duty Marine. We active duty Marines have a little beef with the weekend warrior Marines. I mean no disrespect; in reality their job is much harder. They have two careers going at the same time. But we got put in the same platoon together and ultimately the same gun truck.
I have great respect for Allen as a Marine and a man of God. He would often speak of God to me and we would have conversations about the Bible…. mainly me trying to prove him wrong. I had respect for his beliefs because of my grandfather. I did not buy into anything he was telling me at the time. He would invite me to church on Sundays. I would always decline. Your son had the same humility and glow my grandfather had. Allen was always content and at peace no matter how bad the situation. I admired that. God used Allen to water my seed.
When Barnes and Washam from our platoon were killed, it rained on us right after the incident while we were still at the scene. One lonely rain cloud; and out of that rain cloud two rainbows appeared. That was God watering my seed again.
I became an electrician after the Corps. I was still searching for something but could not find it. In 2012 my daughter was born. I think to myself as I watch this precious little girl being delivered “there is no way this is just science; this is the work of GODS hands.” Would you believe I was still too stubborn to believe in him. 2014 comes along and I am like, alright, I am going to take a hard look at this whole GOD thing. I wanted to do it totally on my own and not go to anyone for their advice or opinion. I wanted to hear GOD’S word for myself.
I purchased a Bible from the internet and googled the best way for a beginner to read the bible. It basically took you through the New Testament in a certain order which worked great for me. I was about 3 weeks into reading the Bible and one night in bed, I finally had a genuine feeling of love for Jesus and what he did for me. I told GOD that night in bed that I accept Jesus as my LORD and savior and asked him to forgive me of my sins. I felt so loved and warm immediately after doing that. Best night of my life. I have been diving into GOD’S word everyday since and just keep trying to gain as much knowledge, wisdom, and understanding as I can.
I am now part of a great church and two awesome small groups. God has blessed me in so many ways. I thank him for the people he has put in my life like your son. You are a proud father and I know it and you should be. I read your blog post titled “Veterans Day Tribute to Jared.” [http://www.drdavidlallen.com/featured/veterans-day-tribute-to-jared/] I loved how in Jared’s letter to you he said “he hopes he could be a good witness for GOD.” He was one of the best witnesses GOD could have ever put in front of me.
I really would like to get in touch with him and thank him for being the salt and the light; for helping lead me to Jesus. Also I have provided a link to my baptism video at the bottom of this email to share with you and Jared and anyone else you want to share it with. I look forward to hearing back from you. Take care.