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Thomas M. Kochansky is a retired professional engineer, registered in Pennsylvania. He is retired from GTE. He is the author of "Man of Action: Peter's Recollection of the Christ" and "Tribune: A story of early christianity"which are available from www.publishamerica.com www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com .
Prologue: The young officer was frightened. All through his youth he
was trained to be a soldier; his father,
the Imperator, saw to that.Strange, he thought, I still think of him as “the Imperator” even
though he now serves as a full-time senator.The Imperator tasted war for the first time at the
Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, when Augustus was emperor. The Imperator was himself a young
tribune then, almost 46 years ago.Was he frightened then? No, nothing frightened him.His tried
to think of his father – to think of anything to get rid of the knot of fear in his stomach. His father
had already been in his forties when his only son was born, and until he retired from the army a
few years ago, had been away most of the time. On those rare visits to his family in Rome, the
Imperator would make sure his son was learning tobe a soldier. Now his father was in Rome and
his son was here in Germania on his first posting with the army, with the same legion and in the
same area where his father won a great victory in the year 793 asLegatus Legionisof the 15th
Legion Primigeneia. It was then that the emperor Caligula granted him the title Imperator,
normally used only by the emperor himself or oneof his closest colleagues. The official word
was that peace existed in this frontier but in truth, various tribal chieftains ruled over isolated
territories and would often challenge theRoman army. Today it would happen again.
The tribune looked up as an old soldier, the centurion Marius Tulla, approached and asked,
“Tribune Portus, are you ready?” Marius was one of the supernumerarii centurions and was in
charge of an elite infantry unit of the 15thLegion Primigeneia. While Marcus was his superior in
rank, his training told him that he should rely heavily on Marius’ experience and defer to him in
“Yes,” he replied, “I would not tell anyone this but you. I am frightened.”
The old soldier nodded. He had spent 45 years in the army, joining when he was only fourteen
years old and serving long past the normal 25 year eligibility for retirement. He soldiered with the
Imperator nd it was the Imperator who arranged for him to be here to watch over his son. Marius
was a friend and mentor, and even a father figure to the young tribune. “All of us experience fear
before battle,” he said.
“Even the Imperator?”
“Even the Imperator,” he replied. He looked tothe east and saw the false dawn. “Prepare
yourself; the barbarians will attack within the hour.” The tribune watched as the old man walked
down the ranks to encourage his men. The tribune was still thinking it was unbelievable that the
Imperator would know fear when the battle started. Yells, screams, the blaring of horns and the
clanging of metal together formed a cacophony from Hades. There was no time for fear or to
think but just to slash and thrust with the gladius, the short sword. His arm grew weary as he
swung the sword but he could not hesitate as the blond and red haired enemy kept coming on.
How many men he killed he didn’t know but he was doing all he could to survive. It was chaos.
He didn’t know if they were winning the battle or not. His only concern was to stay alive. He was
not even aware of the cuts he received or thatthe straps holding his breastplate were cut, causing
it to fall away. As the breastplate fell around his feet, he tripped and lay on his back. One of the
barbarians – a blond giant with a large drooping moustache – came at him and knocked his sword
from his hand. In desperation, the tribune looked for a weapon, and grabbing a spear on the
ground next to him, picked it up and held it forward as the barbarian charged him. The point of
the spear entered the man’s face below the right eye and as it pierced his brain, he died instantly.
There was no time to think about what happened.The tribune picked up his sword and rejoined
Suddenly it was over. Rome had won. The barbarians who were left melted away. The tribune
looked around at the horror of war. Dead anddrying men lay everywhere. Arms and legs had
been hacked away and lay strewn among the bodies. The young man was overwhelmed by the
smell. The sickly sweet smell of blood mixed with the effluence of voided bowels and bladders.
The flies – thousand of them – had already begun to swarm over the carnage - and birds -
vultures and blackbirds - were now beginning toinvestigate the dead. He looked down and saw a
familiar figure. The grizzled veteran centurion Marius lay there, an axe embedded in his neck,
half severing it. Hundreds of black flies crawled around and through the wound. The bile rose in
the young man’s throat but he fought it down. As he turned to walk away, he realized that, in his
fear, he had voided his own bowels, the filth crusting on the back of his thighs.
Action Prologue: “Tell me everything you know about the Christ.”
That was how John Mark began, Peter thought. “You were the man who knew him best.
You are getting old and we need to recordyour thoughts for those who never knew him.” I
had to agree that we needed to record all thatwe could about the life of Jesus. It has been
thirty years since he died, rose and ascended to the Father. But was I the man who knew
him best? Certainly Jesus thought of John ina special way. John was the one to whom he
entrusted his mother as he hung on the cross.Surely John would have learned much about
Jesus from her. Is she stillalive and with John? And whatabout Thomas? He was the one
who was always searching to know more. On theday in the week after Jesus rose from the
dead, when Jesus told Thomas to put his finger into his wounds, Thomas proclaimed him as
his Lord and his God. Thomas was the first oneto publicly proclaim Jesus as God. Yes, we
all said Jesus was the Son ofGod and the Messiah but evenif we had thoughts about him
actually being God, we did not proclaim it.Perhaps Thomas understood better than any of
us. But he is in India spreading the Good News. In fact, we’re spread throughout the world
making disciples of all nations, as he asked us to do. Here in Rome, the center of the world
I can perhaps make the most impact. Maybe John Mark is right. They call me Bishop of
Rome and so I have a certain influence over the entire world. Yes, John Mark is right. I will
tell him all I can remember about Jesus and hewill record it. His Greekis better than mine,
not good, but he has a knack for getting to the point without a lotof unnecessary words.
There is so much on my mind these days as followers of The Way are being persecuted
more and more so what I recall may not be in the order that things actually occurred but
John Mark will know how to weave my thoughts together to form the message.
Outside the gentle Roman spring rain fell lullingPeter into a sort of dreamy state, as he
began to think about Jesus. Without even knowing it, the words began to flow from his lips
while John Mark listened intently and took uphis stylus. The words recreated the events
and John Mark could almost feel that hewas there observing all that happened.
Mr. Kochansky is also the author of several technical papers which were presented at international symposia. He is a recipient of the Leslie H. Warner Technical Achievement Award.
Mr. Kochansky is active in his church and is a commissioned Lay Pastoral Minister in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida. He is a certified teacher of the Disciple Bible Study programs and has been active in planning and help conduct the annual St. Timothy Men's Retreats.He is also the ministry leader for Adult Faith Formation at St. Timothy.
Mr. Kochansky served in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1960 and then in the active reserve until 1962. He spent three years at Spangdahlem AB in Germany as a member of Detachment 11, 31st. Weather Squadron.
Mr. Kochansky has been active in Boy Scouting since his youth. He is a two-time Wood Badge Course Director. He was a participant in National Wood Badge Course 368 at Schiff Scout Reservation, NJ in 1970 and is a member of the Growling Grizzly (Bear) patrol.He has earned numerous scouting awards including the Silver Beaver, St. George, Bronze Pelican and Silver Alligator. He is a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.
Mr. Kochansky also is an instructor in the SeniorNet program at the Tampa Learning Center at the University of South Tampa, teaching "Introduction to Computers" to senior citizens. He is also a member of the Tampa SeniorNet Board of Directors.
Mr. Kochansky has been married since 1963 to his wife Jean. He has a daughter Cheryl Crum and a son Tom, Jr.He has four grandchildren. He has lived in York, PA, Erie, PA, Monroe, CT and now resides in Tampa, FL.
This is the personal homepage of Tom Kochansky author of Man of Action : Peter’s Recollection of the Christ , this site contains information about Tom and his hobbies as well as some information about his book. Learn how God and his son Jesus play an enormous role in Tom's personal and family life.