Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Purple Heart

         Forty -eight years ago today, March 16, 1968, while I was enjoying life as sophomore at West Virginia University, my future husband was lying wounded in Viet Nam, waiting for morning so a helicopter could medivac him to a hospital and safety.  He and about 90 other paratroopers had been dropped off for a mission that turned deadly when that small group of men found that they were facing a whole battalion of enemy soldiers.  Sam said that about midnight they detected movement while he was on patrol and about that time he was hit and was seriously wounded.  He was attended by a medic during that long night.  He has a deep scar running from his hip to halfway down his thigh -- he would spend 2 months at a hospital in Japan before returning to Viet Nam. He was awarded his purple heart while in the hospital bed.

       A couple months ago, our pastor asked us to look back at God's providence and protection in our lives.  He suggested that it would be good to write it down and reflect on how God had provided for us in the past.  Lying in the jungles of Viet Nam, hurt and bleeding -- how could that be God's protection?  Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, here's "the rest of the story."

      A helicopter was able to land the next morning at pick Sam up so he could get medical treatment.  But not long after that, his unit was attacked by a battalion of NVA/VC and many of the American soldiers were wounded or killed.  Several men in Sam's unit were killed, including his platoon leader and the medic who had treated his wounds. His commander, Capt. Paul Bucha would receive the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the battle. If Sam had not be wounded, he likely would have his name on The Wall along with the other young men in his unit.
Psalm 105:4,5 says "Look to the Lord and His strength. Seek his face always.  Remember the wonders He has done." So today, as I remember the wonders He has done, I give thanks again for God's providence and protection.

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