He fought to defend freedom in WWII, but came home disillusioned

Bob Greenwood

Bob Greenwood 1921–2016

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Bob Greenwood, a young Wisconsin native, was eager to join the army as soon as possible. Responding to President Roosevelt’s call to defend humanity’s “four essential freedoms” – freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear – he soon found himself on a ship to France.

As a young officer he was disillusioned by military corruption, and after coming home, he found the same corruption in the corporate world of America’s burgeoning postwar economy. He and his wife, Kathy, discovered the Bruderhof through friends and joined in 1955. Their marriage went through hard times, but they were supported by and faithful to the church in their search to find the inner freedom that only forgiveness can bring. During the celebration for their sixty-first wedding anniversary, Bob said:

We’ve had many times of trying to learn to live together in peace and harmony, just between the two of us. And we found the only way we could do it was through forgiveness. Without forgiving each other we never could have lasted together. You can’t file away each little hurt or slight and then pull it out again the next time you have trouble. If we did that we’d soon be buried in troubles.

That was only possible with the help of brothers and sisters and the church. Without the help of brothers and sisters, and above all the help of God, we would not be here to share this joy and love tonight. What we gave up counts as nothing to what God has given us.

Whittling their own marshmallow roasting sticks

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