Lessons from a WWII Veteran: Student Response

Last week we were privileged and honored to host Metanoia guest speaker, Clayton Nattier (see photo above), World War II Air Force pilot, purple heart recipient and former POW. Mr. Nattier shared stories of his personal experiences leading his flight team, parachuting into enemy territory and enduring the hardships of life as a POW in a German prison camp. His compelling stories left an impression on Anastasis students. See some of their comments below:
Times are changing. It’s not before long when souls move on and their legacies remain. Thank you so much Clayton for sharing your inspirational story. I’m still amazed that I got to speak with a national treasure such as yourself. Your story showed me the dire importance of Bravery even when fear seems to crown itself, the importance of hope when the lights seem to fade away, and the power of love even when times seem as if they are out to destroy us. I encourage you to keep spreading your story and inspiring souls in this universe. Your story has made an impact on our world and an imprint on my heart.
Even with hardships I saw the amazing faith and positivity. The story that you shared with us is so special and heroic. It’s amazing to think that through trauma God has a plan for all of us. When you told the part of your story when you had to bail from your plane, I was astounded by your true bravery and courage. You have inspired me and I am so lucky to have heard your story. Thank you, Clayton, you are truly a national treasure. 
Thank you for teaching me something that I will never forget. Something that will not just be planted on my heart, but rooted in it. You taught me that when life is hard, God is good. That when life isn’t going how we planned, all we can do is put a smile on our face and believe. Believe that something will change. Believe that God isn’t a dictator or an enemy. He is a Father, our Father. “You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” You have taught me that it’s not just about how you have lived life, it’s about what you 
have learned from it. 
Thank you for serving in a hard war and wanting to do it again. Thank you for being vulnerable and talking about it. Thank you for sharing I learned that it helps to share your story so we can learn from it. Thank you for taking precious time out of your day. You are a great story. 
Clayton is truly an inspiration to this day. He had hope, faith, courage, and bravery in one of the most hardest times in history. Thank you so much Clayton for sharing your incredible story with us today. It is truely an honor to hear and see you to this day still living life to the fullest. Thank you for coming and serving your country.
Not many people will be able to say they have heard a story of a war hero. Today I was lucky enough to listen to Clayton’s story and how he protected our country. The most amazing thing ever to hear is that even though Clayton was a prison or of war, that he lost some great friends, that thousands of people died, he would do it all over again to protect our country. I would like to thank Clayton and all the veterans of World War Two for protecting myself and all the citizens of America. These veterans are treasures of the war that should 
never be forgotten.

Thank you, Mr. Clayton for everything you have done for our nation. I thank you for having served bravely with the love you have fueling your spirit. We are forever grateful to you for protecting our freedom and way of life, as well as protecting our independence. I thank you for that. I thank you for every act of love you have shared, and I thank you, most importantly, for never forgetting who you are.
Clayton was a brave and inspirational man. I loved hearing his story and that if he could change anything he wouldn’t. I loved hearing him talk about how he got to fly the airplanes and how much work that was. I took a lot away from this but something that I will remember for a long time is that he was brave and didn’t give up. Thank you Clayton for speaking to us and serving our country.
Clayton is a national treasure to many people. Not too many people are still alive today from WW II to show the new generation what true courage and bravery is. Thank you Clayton for sharing your story and being a primary source to all of us. My grandpa was a Colonel in the Army and hearing his stories was life changing and every single time I hear a story from experiences from war they all sound different in there own special way. Your faith and joy throughout your experience is inspiring to me to be more faithful and be brave. Thank you.
Clayton, thank you so much for all you have done for me and this country. Your really are a national treasure because there’s not many people left that are similar to you. I loved hearing your personal story and your experience in World War II. My favorite part on what you said was about how even in all that had happened to you, you still had hope. I think you were super brave to go and be apart of the war and you would still do it if you traveled back in time. 
May God bless you.  

Metanoia 1: journey

metanoia (n) the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life

This morning David Smith joined us and shared the story of his own metanoia. Below are responses from Team Fink (Finksters) to our time with David this morning. Thank you David!

I really liked having David here today, he was very inspiring. It made me think that I can do anything with God. David was a drug addict, but when he came to know God, he started a photography business with his wife, and wrote poems, and talked to schools around the country. I really liked how he talked about you are not what other people say you are. You can be whatever you want to be. I really hope David can come and talk to us again this year.

I appreciated that he was very real. He told his story without hesitation and told it honestly. It’s so cool to hear his story, and his life’s progression from a troubled kid to a fantastic poet and speaker. It really inspired me to believe that no matter how much money, what situation, or bad choices that with God’s love, and faith in him, you can truly do anything and touch many lives. – Katie

David’s talk was touching because we all have a part in our life that gets messed up along the way. There are people in this world who are drop-outs and do drugs, but that does not mean they are bad people. The devil is watching us all the time; he comes to us when we least expect it. God is the only person that can fill our emptiness. I felt like David was trying tell us we all make mistakes and we can fix them.

When David came and spoke about his identity to us I really appreciated it.  It meant a bunch to me when he told us that his identity is a child of God because he was right. He was right because jobs and stuff we have are just in this world and temporary, but God is forever. I want to be like David and be a child of God.

I liked that David was truthful about what he said like he didn’t lie about doing bad things. I liked David because we was nice and very thankful for God and how God worked the future. Also liked listening to his story’s it Inspired me a lot because we sin and then we inspire to teach others about God I liked that he stayed on the right path and it’s kind of like Proverbs. – Mason

I really enjoyed the message because it reminded me of how God can bring us through hard times and use us in ways we never expected he would use us in. I also liked that David talked a lot about preaching with music and writing which are two things I’m very passionate about. Another thing I liked was the talk about identity and how we need to focus on being a child of God and that’s one of the things were currently talking a lot about in school. – Joseph

I really liked how he showed his life to us.  It was inspirational because it is hard to stop doing drugs and start a new life.  It was amazing how he said that Jesus kept him going through his life, Jesus never gave up on him.  His poems were super interesting.  I could have never written anything like that.  What I also liked was he used his gift and made it into an album he is following his legacy.  When he thought his life was pretty much done, Jesus came in and helped him go in the right direction. –McKensie

Thank you so much for your talk. I loved how inspiring you were, the whole thing was amazing. Now I know that I can face my problems a lot easier because of your example. Worrying about school pictures or other stuff seems so unimportant when there are real problems I don’t even know about. It truly inspired me and I’m thankful for you coming to our school. — Jacob

I really liked when you talked about going from a drug addict to a singer and a poet. I thought it was so cool how God used you to preach about your story. If you never did drugs and struggled with it, you wouldn’t have an amazing life story! It made me think, that during the bad times, I know that God still has a plan for me and you in the end. Your story really meant a lot to me. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to tell us your story.  Angelina

I really enjoyed listening to David discussion. In the end of the video it said ” who are you” the first thing I thought about was our inquiry is who are we it’s good to think about people who aren’t in the school are still thinking about “who they are”