She didn't need his protection...

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Women putting on combat makeup

This just in. When women are killed in combat, the men who are responsible for their well-being and protection feel guilty.

He realized that his anguish was different: He felt guilty.

"I wonder sometimes if that's the depth of my grief because I always felt like I should be there to protect her, you know, as a father," Gordon says.

Of course, Spc. Brittany Gordon, with her body armor and rifle, didn't need his protection. And he was proud that she pushed limits for what women are doing in the military.

Still, he feels like he should have been able to do something to save her.

He could have, and he should have. He was fooled into thinking that "pushing limits" is always good. And so she died.

But he's not alone in believing this lie.

Many in the church are unwilling to give his guilt the dignity it deserves, claiming that we have nothing to say to such men and women.

(With thanks to Clint.) Image credit: Israel Defense Forces

Joseph and his wife, Heidi, have five children, Tate, Eliza Jane, Moses, Fiona and Annabel. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and Clearnote Pastors College. He is currently planting Christ Church in Cincinnati with several other families.