Regent University News – Regent Executive Leadership Series Features LTG (Ret.) William G. Boykin
Founding member of Delta Force LTG (Ret). William “Jerry” Boykin was born with a love for his country in his veins.
On Wednesday, November 9, Boykin spoke at Regent University’s Executive Leadership Series (ELS). He told a story of a 17-year-old veteran named Cecil, who left his family’s tobacco farm to enlist in the United States Navy in 1943, serving his country on the infamous beaches of Normandy.
Following WWII, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in the Korean War. And true to form, he joined the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
“Cecil loved God, America and his family, in that order,” said Boykin. “He took an oath three times to ‘support and defend the United States.'”
And for Cecil – Boykin’s father – there was no expiration date to that oath. To Boykin, he was a man who had no high school education, but who had wisdom and character.
“I had no choice but to love America,” said Boykin, who followed in the footsteps of his father’s longevity and dedication of service, committing 36 years of his life in the U.S. Army.
It’s with his history of service and his genuine pursuits to protect the “founding values of this nation,” that he believes restoration is in America’s future. A timely message in the days between the closing of a whirlwind election season and the celebration of Veterans Day.
“This is where we stand today,” said Boykin. “We will never surrender, and we owe it to our veterans to stand up for what we believe in.”
He realizes this type of leadership comes from a place of both difficulty and courage. In 1993, following the Battle of Mogadishu, known commonly as “Black Hawk Down,” Boykin watched a truck arrive with its aftermath: his dead and wounded fellow soldiers.
“Blood poured out [of the truck] like water,” he said. “I wanted to sit down and weep, but I was the leader. I had to continue leading no matter my personal feelings.”
Boykin later found himself on the battlefield, suffering a bullet injury next to a man who was shot and killed instantly. In that moment, he questioned why God had spared him that day.
It wasn’t until years later while he was fulfilling his duties as the executive vice president of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. that he received his answer.
The familiar sound of active gunfire alerted Boykin and sent him running into the lobby, where he found a man pinned to the floor – an activist in protest of his organization – and several bullet holes in the office’s walls, doors and his coworker’s arm.
“I heard God say then, ‘I spared you to fight another day, this is the battle I spared you for: The soul of this nation,’” said Boykin. “I serve a sovereign God and I was spared for what I’m doing today. My 36 years were preparation.”
He encouraged his listeners to find a similar “transcendent call,” and for a restoration of courage.
“If we’re going to be leaders in our homes, our communities, and in our social circles, we have to have courage,” said Boykin. “And it’s in short supply.”
Learn more about Regent University’s Executive Leadership Series.