Heroic Army Captain covered in combat by prayer warrior parents

WATKINSVILLE, Ga. (BP)--An Army captain who has garnered worldwide notoriety for a heroic rescue is alive today because of God's grace and the power of prayer, his mother says.

Army Captain Chris Carter, 31, led a daring rescue March 31 when an elderly Muslim woman got caught on a bridge in the middle of American and Iraqi gunfire around Hindiyah, Iraq. The Associated Press reported that Carter left his Bradley fighting vehicle during the firefight and dashed out onto the bridge to save the injured woman.

"Carter tossed a smoke grenade for more cover and approached the woman, who was crying and pointed toward a wound on her hip.... Medics placed the woman on a stretcher and into an ambulance; Carter stood by, providing cover with his M16A4 rifle."

The next day, his picture and the story of his account were plastered on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

Were his parents surprised?

"Not at all," said his mother, Shirley Carter, adding that her husband has told people that it is "what we would expect from Chris."

Carter and her husband, Michael, are members of First Baptist Church, Watkinsville, Ga. Chris is a member of Southside Baptist Church in Savannah, which is close to his base in Fort Stewart, Ga.

"We are praying unceasingly," Shirley Carter told Baptist Press.

The recent incident simply deepened her belief in God's grace, she said. Days before the heroic rescue, she was praying for her son when she began to sense that God was telling her that "Chris was going to do a rescue," he said.

"It took me a while to get the message. But I finally recognized that God was trying to tell me something, and he wanted me to pray for Chris," she said. "I prayed that [God] would make sure he had good cover and that God would protect him."

She prayed for the rescue for several days and made notes about it in her prayer journal, she said. Finally, on March 31, her husband received a call from a reporter asking him to comment on his son's heroics. It was the first they knew about it.

When her husband relayed the information, Shirley Carter said she "started crying. I wasn't crying because I was afraid. I was crying because God had given me the gift to pray for Chris."

The Carters are prayer warriors, but they have been praying a bit extra with their son overseas, she said, adding that their desire to pray comes directly from God.

"God puts that burden there and you can't help but do it," she said. "You just pray. ... It's really a blessing to know that you are in constant communion with God."

Carter is in charge of 150 men, and is quoted often in news accounts because an Associated Press reporter is imbedded with his company.

"We are more blessed than most people by the fact that we have been able to follow him" through news reports, Shirley Carter said.

Chris' home church in Savannah is keeping him and the other troops in their prayers.

"Chris is a committed Christian," said Jerry Claxton, associate pastor and minister of education at Southside Baptist. "He's a member of our college and career department. He attends when he's in town, but he stays busy with the Army."

And he cares for his troops. Last year, when he was preparing for deployment, his parents asked him what he wanted for his birthday (in September) and for Christmas. "He said he didn't want anything for his birthday or Christmas," but instead wanted their church to send Christmas gifts to all his soldiers, Shirley Carter said. Members of First Baptist, Watkinsville, filled the request, giving his men a nice surprise for the holidays.


(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: STANDING PROUD.

Download Story