We Stand Alone Together – Part 1



It takes two men to make one brother. ~Israel Zangwill

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 17:17 ESV

Recently I have been watching my DVD copy of the HBO series Band of Brothers, which tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in World War II. Their motto was…Currahee! We stand alone together! I love this series, and I love listening to the actual accounts of the men who went through extreme sacrifice for their country and for each other. Years have past and these men talk about their “brothers” like they were still in the foxholes with them…their bond was that intimate and deep.

I have been musing about this for days now and the Father led me through an interesting exercise. The outcome of that exercise was mind blowing and I found out this…I am 313 years old…in friend years. Let me explain the exercise and give you a gist of what I discovered.

I wrote down my own band of brothers, using 13 (of my closest friends) as a cutoff number (there are 13 soldiers in the above graphic) and tallied up the number of years we have been friends. Here’s the rough breakdown.

Friend 1 = 47 years
Friend 2 = 37 years
Friend 3 = 35 years
Friend 4 = 35 years
Friend 5 = 35 years
Friend 6 = 20 years
Friend 7 = 20 years
Friend 8 = 20 years
Friend 9 = 20 years
Friend 10 = 18 years
Friend 11 = 11 years
Friend 12 = 7 years
Friend 13 = 3 years

Of these 13 there are five men who I meet monthly with in a group called PointMen, in that group the friend years add to 76. Do you want to know my discovery?

I am rich with friendship years.

I do not compare the stuff my band of brothers has gone through with the sacrifice that members of Easy Company made but we have locked arms through some difficult times…and remained friends. There have been times we have stood alone…together.

We have sat with each in hospital rooms and ER’s, consoled each other when dreams died, encouraged each other when hope were fading and challenged each other when we needed a kick in the pants. We have been together at celebrations and funerals, parties and prayer meetings, vacations and retreats…the common bond of Christ has kept us. I believe in them and I trust they have my back, in deed and in prayer.

Do you have a Band of Brothers?

Do they have your back…and do you cover theirs?

More in Part 2

Yours in Brotherhood,

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jasonS said…
I don't make friends too easily so my closest friends are back in Oklahoma where I grew up. I would love to have more close friends here, but I definitely cherish the ones I do have. Great exercise and great post. Thanks Jay.
Jay Cookingham said…
Jason...it's hard for me to believe that you don't make friends easily...since you seem so friendly and accepting. Praying for some close buds to show up soon but you have another friend in the North East if ya ever need one!
Duane2scott said…
Hmmm... I don't have 13 friends.

Okay. I do. But I don't know which ones are my BEST friends.

So, if I went to the effort, I'm sure I would have lots of years of friendships! Good exercise!
Jay Cookingham said…
Well....I have a LOT more than 13....I really do...really....OK? LOL...
Duane, I'm sure the friendship you have are a blessing to ya!
Bill (cycleguy) said…
Jay: one of the hardest things about being a pastor is having friends. My life is the church. Other than cycling and working out at the Y I have limited people-exposure and even then they are on their guard. I miss having a band of brothers like you have spoken about. Feel blessed. I do have a friend from college that I still get together with=36 years. I have a cycling buddy=22 years. Beyond that I run dry. Any suggestions?
Jay Cookingham said…
Bill, not being a pastor I can't really say I feel your pain but I do have friends who are pastors...several actually. Probably because I don't expect anything from them and I just want to be their friend...seems to work for us. I know my pastor recently reached out to another pastor in our hometown...they meet regularly to talk and pray together. I do admit it must be easier for pastors to have friends outside their own congregation.

Praying for you bro'
S. Etole said…
Yes, I do ... and it is blessing indeed.
Jay Cookingham said…
A blessing indeed...friends are a great one!
Billy Coffey said…
Love your thoughts here, Jay. I have my own Band of Brothers. Couldn't do it without them.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Billy...I agree, I couldn't be the man I am without them.

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