By Tim Hofmeister
On Tuesday, March 22 in the Trexler Room of the DUC, DeSales students came to see a talk by Ranger Gary Horton. Horton spoke about his life experiences, including fighting in Vietnam, helping at-risk kids and how his life is based on his relationship with God.
“Everyone has a mask, but the secret to life is going through something that rips that mask off,” Horton said.
Horton has spoken at over 8,000 high schools, junior high schools and colleges in 46 different states at no cost and simply asks schools to provide an American flag and one hour of assembly time. When asked what school was his favorite to speak at, he said, “My next one.”
Horton’s message involves humor, honesty and a hard-hitting approach with the hope of leaving his youthful audiences with a rekindled appreciation of America’s greatness and a renewed dedication to the principles upon which this country was founded.
During his talk Horton took the word America and made it an acronym, giving each letter a word which he believes are important to be successful. In his acronym, A is attitude, M is motivation, E is enthusiasm, R is respect, I is integrity, C is courage and A is ambition. He also shared with everyone what the colors of the American flag and their meaning. Red is courage and valor, white is purity and righteousness and blue is justice and honor.
Everything Horton talked about had its root in God and how without him, it is difficult to accomplish anything on Earth.
Horton said, “Your destiny is connected to God and without him you have no plan which makes your life one guess after another.”
Horton also talked about eternity and how we do not know when our lives will end and even told the story about how he lost his son and grandson in a car accident five years ago. Horton said his faith allowed him not to blame God.
“Your heroes do not have to die if you carry what they have done with you,” Horton said.
Horton concluded his talk by saying, “I’d like to see you again, whether it be here, there, or in the air.”
After his talk Horton stayed for questions, gave out his business card and encouraged students to contact him with any question, problem or concern. Horton also gave out a double-sided coin with the quote, “America, the land of the free, only as long as it remains the home of the brave!” On the other side, he had the bible verse John 3:16, which summed up his message of how he believes God and country are intertwined.
Campus Ministry and I.D.E.A.S Club brought in Horton to speak. The President of I.D.E.A.S Club, Paul Vizza, said, “I saw him and knew him from Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week and I knew his message would fit well here at a Christian school.”