WINONA LAKE — Decorated U.S. Army veteran and pro-life advocate Lt.Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin spoke to a small gathering at Grace College’s Westminster Hall on Monday, Sept. 17, at a leadership luncheon co-sponsored by the college and Right to Life of North Central Indiana.
Boykin was introduced by local veteran and director of the Greater Warsaw Ministerial Association, Ken Locke. Locke, who served in the U.S. Army on the same base with Boykin, told the audience that he admired Boykin’s length of service and stressed that devout Christianity is sometimes a challenge for career military personnel.
“My connection to him is that we were both at Fort Stewart, Ga. at the same time,” said Locke. “It is a challenge to be a born-again believer in the military. And, anybody who served as long as this many did in the military as a born-again believer, that is one tough hombre.”
Boykin is the executive vice president of the Family Research Council and a founding member of the Army’s storied Delta Force. Dave Koontz, executive director of Right to Life of North Central Indiana, said it was Boykin’s gift as a public speaker that prompted him to coordinate Monday’s visit, which also includes an evening banquet scheduled for more than 900 attendees.
“I had an opportunity to hear Lt. Gen. Boykin back in December and when I heard him speak, I knew that he needed to come here and speak to all of you,” said Koontz.
Boykin took the podium and began by engaging in the requisite banter between service branches, targeting the audience’s handful of former Marines. “Normally, when I’ve got more than one Marine, I’ll just go ahead and take all the big words out of my presentation,” said Boykin, to thunderous laughter. Boykin went on to say that he grew up near several Marine Corps bases in North Carolina and called upon the members of the audience to keep flooded communities like his hometown of New Bern, N.C. in their prayers.
“I’ve actually had the privilege of leading men and women in the best of times and the worst of times,” said Boykin. “There’s nothing that hits a leader more than losing someone who you’re responsible for.”
Boykin was introduced as being on the faculty of Virginia’s Hampden-Sydney College but clarified that he is no longer affiliated with the school, touting controversy he created when he spoke on issues near and dear to the LGBTQ community.
“They did not renew my contract,” said Boykin of Hampden-Sydney College. “Basically they said I had an attitude about letting men go into women’s bathrooms. This is insanity and I look around and I say ‘where is the leadership on this issue?’ We let men go into the bathroom with these young ladies over here because he feels like a woman today. Do you think, when I was a teenager, I wouldn’t have taken advantage of that? Most of you would have, men anyhow.”
Boykin said the key to leadership is establishing a lead by example model.
“To be a leader, you gotta know what you believe,” he said. “And, you have to know what matters to you. Do you realize that we have a generation of people coming in right now who believe in Marxism? It is because we have not done the right thing with this generation that’s coming up today by expressing what we believe — as the adults — what we believe in and what we know about history. We’ve failed this generation coming up today because we haven’t provided the leadership on these issues.”