A US Marine whose unit came under three days of intense attacks during a tour of Iraq says God helped his troops during the strikes.
Captain Frank Diorio was stationed in the embattled city of Husaybah when the relentless attacks – the largest against coalition forces – took place.
Not a single Marine died under Frank’s command during his seven-month tour – despite enduring 300 attacks. And he credits everything to divine guidance.Remembering the three-day attack in which he constantly prayed, Frank said: “It was the largest attack against a coalition unit in the history of the Iraq war.
“Our base was hit by three suicide vehicles loaded with 2,000lbs of explosives. Another two suicide vehicles loaded with explosives breached the perimeter of our bases followed by a ground attack.” The responsibility of leadership can be lonely, but Frank added that he never felt alone.
“Leadership can be a lonely place because you’re not taking the burdens that belong to you and putting them on other people. But I was never alone. I found I could feel God’s presence with me after that attack.”
Frank is no stranger to God’s voice guiding him away from danger. On the day of 9/11 he was due to commute to Manhattan.
“The World Trade Centre was my stop,” he remembered. “But on that day, I was running late and as I ran to my platform I heard this voice say ‘Don’t run’.
“So I just stopped and stared at the train and I didn’t get on.
“I later discovered the train I missed wound up being at the bottom of the World Train Centre when the planes hit.”
Frank had grown up in New Jersey believing in God – but his faith became much more real through his sister, Christine, who was touring America with the African Children’s Choir.
“She’d been sharing her new-found faith with me and was challenging me in a loving way.”
Frank then started travelling to Rwanda to serve alongside his sister at youth camps for the choir where he saw the incredible way the children overcome so much pain in their lives.
“The real impact for me was when I saw how they had endured so much trauma and yet through their love for God they showed no anger. That really stuck with me.
“It was at a time when God was working on my faith. I had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment and I really had to change my lifestyle.”
Frank continues to work for the US Marines and lives with his wife, Charlotte, near Washington DC. They have three children.
He added: “I couldn’t imagine getting through life without my Christian faith, knowing that God truly does know the desires of our hearts.”