There are a few benefits of being a United States Soldier that we seldom forget to mention. We get to travel the world, visit countries that you may not even know exist, learn different tactics with different weapons and most of all, when we come home we get to see the faces of people that are truly grateful for our sacrifices. There is nothing more beneficial then seeing children want to be like you and older generations thankful for their freedoms.
Benefits aside, we do have a lot of hassles and troublesome times that we go through. It can be extremely rough on a solider to be away from his family for nine months to a year, sometimes even a year and half. This last deployment, I had those issues. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to receive the benefits and wages of a Master Mason. Please understand, I am talking of how a brother takes his cable tow and extends it beyond his reach in order to take care of another.
Earlier this week I was traveling from one of those nations some people may never have heard of, The United Arab Emirates. While I was traveling the woman of my dreams was also preparing to travel herself, half way across the nation in order to meet me at my ﬁnal destination in Lawton, Oklahoma. She had her ﬂight booked, a rental car ready in Oklahoma and a hotel ready to go-- Well, not quite. Her hotel called her prior to her departure to let her know that her room could not be booked because her card was declined. She looked into the situation to ﬁnd out that her identity had been stolen and she was broke. Her plane ticket didn't get booked because of the same situation and everything was beginning to fall apart.
Knowing Emily would still try to ﬁnd a way to get to Oklahoma, I devised a plan for her to use a copy of my debit card that she had possession of. I was thinking she would be able to use the card to purchase a rental car and pay for gas and food along the long road between West Virginia and Oklahoma. I called my bank and made sure they were tracking and even put a note on my account to ensure she had access to my bank account. Even with all the preliminary steps that I took for her to use my card, I was wrong. The rental car company rejected her, she needed to prove that she was the card holder on the account. Yet again, the amazing Emily is still bound and determined to travel half way across the nation to be with me as I get off the plane. She contacted a friend of hers and he helped her, knowing how badly she wanted to be in Oklahoma. Though he is not a Master Mason, Jason has shown me that he is righteous, honorable and willing to go the distance for a friend; traits of a true Master Mason of the Craft. At the news of her still traveling I contacted multiple Freemasons who may have been in the area she was going to be traveling through. There was one brother who stood out amongst them all, he took a burden that he did not have to take at all. Thankfully he didn't actually have to bear the burden, Emily arrived in Oklahoma safe and sound.
However, the burden Bro. Brian Schimian was to take, was to take care of anything in case of an emergency and Emily needed refuge. All I asked was that no matter where he was if he would please just call a brother in the area of Emily’s location to ensure her safety. He agreed but also pushed forward with his own idea of extending his cable tow. Bro. Schimian offered to travel to her even though she would not be any where near his location. I insisted that this was far beyond his obligation that it would be more than enough to just call a brother he may know closer to her location. Because of his dedication, I just want to publicly thank Bro. Brian Schimian for his dedication, effort and friendship. If I could authorize any sort of commendation award to him I would. To quote one of your latest articles on Midnight Freemasons, you truly show where the ‘tie binds’.
This is what we are referring to, a "Master’s Wages". It is not of monetary value nor does it hold some kind of physical existence. Rev. C. H. Vail describes it perfectly in "Ancient Mysteries & Modern Masonry", "What is the reward or wages of the Speculative Mason? Not silver nor gold, but Truth." I however, would like to take it a step further and propose that a Master’s Wages are beneﬁts we get out of helping others, working together, and benefiting from the assistance of a fellow brother taking his obligation seriously. No matter where you are from, no matter your story, we are the tie that binds-- brethren we are all headed East to collect a “Master’s Wages”.
Bro. Aaron Gardner was raised as a Master Mason in his hometown lodge of Flushing, Michigan. He has served in active duty with the United States Army for the last seven years in which he has become well traveled around the world. He is currently stationed in Lawton, Oklahoma where he is a member of Triangle Lodge #548. When Bro. Gardner is not defending the nation, he takes great pride in writing articles for his blog Celestial Brotherhood, writing his fiction novel and researching all he can involving the Craft.