David Shamass

DavidShamass

How David Shamass Became a Christian

   My name is David Shamass, and I am a retired Air Force pilot.  I started my Air Force career as an enlisted missile electronics technician. I later became a Weapons Systems Officer in McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantoms for twelve years, and six years as a navigator in Boeing KC-135 Air Refuelers, and one and a half years in training type aircraft. After twenty-nine years of service. I retire on July 1, 2006. I spent nine years as an enlisted man and the remaining twenty years as an officer.

   I’ll begin my story. I was born March 12, 1951, in Detroit, Michigan, as the oldest of three children. We were lower middle class, and usually there was only enough money for rent, utility bills, and food, with very little for fun events. My dad was much older than my mother, and he was extremely negative and unemotional. In fact, I can never remember him complimenting me, or encouraging me about anything. On the other hand, my mother was an extremely positive person.

She had several encouraging sayings such as “Good, better, best, never let it rest until the good is better, and the better is best.” She always said things to help me and my brother to apply ourselves, and use our gifts and talents to the fullest.

   When I was sixteen years old, I got my driver’s license in 1967, and my dad let me use his second car (a 1959 Plymouth Belvedere). It was mainly to drive my mother, brother and little sister around. However, I would use the car to party with my friends on weekends, and sometimes on a week night. My dad and I argued frequently, and I didn’t have much respect for him.

   In 1968, I graduated high school at seventeen years old. That summer I started dating a cute sixteen year old blond girl. My dad was so prejudiced that if a girl, or her family, wasn’t from Syria or Lebanon; he automatically didn’t like her. She and I kept dating, and got really serious. Meanwhile, my dad and I kept arguing. One night in January 1969, I was driving home, and I happened to go by an Air Force recruiter’s office. It was still open, so I went in and spoke with the recruiter. He did a great job of telling me how good life would be if I joined the Air Force. 

   I decided this is perfect. I would get good training, be around airplanes, travel to interesting places, and get away from my dad. Since I had not yet turned eighteen, so my parents had to sign a waiver for me to enlist in the military. They did, but with much reluctance. After taking the required written tests and physical exams, I entered the Air Force Reserve under the Delayed Enlistment Program on February 7, 1969. On March 28, 1969, I reported to the military induction center in Detroit, where I was officially sworn in as an active duty Air Force member, and traveled with my group to basic training at Lackland AFB, in San Antonio, Texas.

   After basic training I was stationed on a base near Champaign, Illinois, for missile electronics technical school. There were several of us from Detroit, so when we got off duty on Friday afternoons we would go home for the weekends to see our families, and girlfriends. The summer of 1969, I got my girlfriend pregnant, and subsequently married her in February 1970. I took her to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where I was stationed for about three years, and had two children. I got off active duty, and took a civil service job with the Michigan Air National Guard back in Michigan. 

   In 1975, I began going to college at night. Meanwhile, my wife and I weren’t getting along. In 1977 I left, and moved into my mother’s house. Up until October 1977, I believed God existed, but didn’t have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. I had no idea that the only way to go to heaven someday when I leave the earth is by receiving Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and accepting His forgiveness for my sins.

During that fall semester, it just so happened that my biology lab partner was a Christian girl that I became friends with. She kept inviting me to Christian concerts, Bible studies, as well as her church on Sunday mornings. One Sunday morning in October 1977, she introduced me to an elder man after the service, and he lead me in prayer, and I was saved.

   As a result, a great peace came over me. I felt no matter what I faced in life, eventually things would turn out for my good. About four months later, I started communicating with my wife with less judgment and more encouragement. She didn’t get saved; but we did make a decision to reconcile. We had another child, three total, and we stayed together until July 1984. At that time, she abandoned me and my children, and we divorced in March 1985.

   Even though God blessed with me with the house and custody of my three children, I was mad at Him. I blamed Him for letting my wife walk away. The truth is, it wasn’t God’s fault. He has given us all free will to choose. She walked away by her own choice. Meanwhile, I backslid for eight months, rebelled against God and living an ungodly life. Through that time, I know people were praying for me, and I frequently felt the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart to come back. I did in November 1985.

   During the years since then I have had some times in which I was not serving Him like I should, but He is always faithful, and He never stops loving us.

   More information about my military career: I went on and off active duty a total of three different times. In 1997, I was asked to go back onto active duty for the last time and I stayed until I retired on July 1, 2006 with twenty-nine years, six months and 29 days of active duty.

   I bought a ranch near Bonham, Texas, and plan to raise cattle. 

   Since 2011 I have been a volunteer prison Chaplain, and I’ve taught in four different prisons and jails here in Texas

KC-135 Refueler (KC-135R)

 

F-4 Phantom Jets Upper F-4 is a ‘Flak suppression wild weasel’

David Shamass Hearing His Voice Testimony

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