Sometimes destiny plays itself out over several years and events that happen years before the final outcome can come into play, and thus have a positive outcome to what could have been an unpleasant experience.
Such was the case with my military experience during the Vietnam conflict during the 1960s. Graduating from high school in 1962, I was a prime candidate for military service when the Vietnam War started in 1963. I would be the first in my immediate family to serve in the military, my grandfather was on a train headed for basic training when World War 1 ended, and my dad was deferred during WW2 because of his bad knees.
I really had no issues with serving my country during this time, and even though there was much opposition to this war, I decided that if needed I would serve. I could see where possibly our actions there could benefit the citizens of that tiny country, which in time, even though the outcome was less than desired, the Vietnamese people did ultimately benefit from our involvement.
The time was 1963, the war was heating up and the draft numbers were increasing, since I had no desire to attend college and no plans to get married, I was a prime candidate for the draft. Thinking it over, I realized there was something about sleeping in a fox hole in the jungle that I just didn’t think I could handle. I would have fared much better in Iraq where there are no jungles.
Not wanting to shirk my duty, I thought about my options. At about the same time, I discovered an Air Force Reserve base about 40 miles from my home. This seemed like a good option, the Air Force is all about service and support, something I could believe in.
As fate would have it, several of my friends had the same idea and as a result about twenty of us all joined the Air Force, and off we all went to basic training, spread over about 3 months. I was ecstatic, I had been assigned to Load Master school and would be on the flight crew of a C-119. This wing had a habit of being called to active duty during times of need, as it had been activated during the Korean Conflict and again during the Cuban Missile Crisis. but that didn’t bother me, at least I wasn’t sleeping in a foxhole.
During basic training, my flight was located next to the Officers Training barracks and I even contemplated going regular Air Force and trying to get into flight school. However, the idea soon vanished and I returned to my original plan.
Soon after that, I received new orders, I would be attending supply school in Amarillo Texas instead of Load Master School at Shepard AFB. What’s up with this? Instead of flying every week end, I’m handing out T-Shirts to flight crews. Oh Well.
I have to admit, I did kind of pout about it for four years.
1968 was beginning and life was changing, having decided to get married in July, and with only a year and a half left of military duty, we purchased a house and was ready to settle down. At the same time, the war in Vietnam was heating up, and the Tet Offensive was in high gear, my Wing was activated for active duty scheduled to deploy the first Monday in May.
It probably couldn’t have come at a worse time, contemplating what to do we decided rather than postpone everything, we opted to get married before I left.We had already bought a house and made all the plans, all we needed to do was move everything forward about three months.
Everything worked out perfectly, despite the fact we were getting married in the spring, the height of the wedding season, the church, reception hall, and photographers were all available. The wedding went off without a hitch.
I had taken a leave of absence from work so I had a couple of weeks before I left for Nam. Everything was going as scheduled, but things were about to change.
The Friday morning previous to when I was scheduled to leave, the phone rang about 7 AM. It was my mom inquiring as to whether I was still going to Vietnam, she had heard on the radio that my squadron had been de-activated. I didn’t realize she knew what squadron I was in, calling immediately it was confirmed that indeed, I no longer was scheduled for active duty, they were only taking the airmen on flying status.
Then it hit me! If my orders hadn’t been changed 4 years previous, I would have been spending a year in the jungle. I spent about fifteen minutes being depressed about not having to leave, then began planning my new life. I can only assume my family has served enough in previous existences that our karma has been fulfilled.
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His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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At this period of time in the history of man, there is probably more individual searching being done into the theories behind the origin of the human race,what happens after death,the possibility of life on other planets, and what our relationship is to these life forms, if they do exist. There are millions of people who are questioning the existence of God, who he really is, and what is my relationship with him? Is he someone who mysteriously floats around on a cloud watching and judging us from above like some bigger than life Santa Claus, or is he, like many of the esoteric science’s claim, a part of our inner Self, whom we have constant contact with, someone whom we and everything in the universe are connected and are thus one? Each of us in our own way is experiencing what God is, and thus we are each a part of God, thus we are God! This book is a brief account of my search for my own truth as I know it today, everything stated actually happened, according to my own perception. It has been an exciting search, at times very frustrating, very rewarding, and above all, very fulfilling. My main purpose in writing this book is to show that anyone, even a bashful unfamous country boy can have these awakenings, you don’t have to be rich or well-known to find your connection to Divine Source.