It took me twenty-five years to get the help I needed after Vietnam. I really never understood why I waited so long, but I’ve vowed to share my story of fear, mistrust, and bravado with this new generation of veterans…and also with those who’ve never really come “home” from World War II, Korea, Nam, Desert Storm, and many other man-made hells. Our prayer in Point Man is that God will give us opportunities to intervene, so that our nation’s defenders will turn from death to life, from destroying to building, and from killing to loving…themselves, others, and God.
Of course we know this will take time and patience, but we are flesh-and-blood evidence that it’s possible. Sometimes the transition begins imperceptibly, when the soldier realizes that others care enough to listen. Often the change that God works is like the one described in the American classic The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane. Here is the way The Youth moves from darkness to light:
“He had rid himself of the red sickness of battle. The sultry nightmare was in the past. He had been an animal blistered and sweating in the heat and pain of war. He turned now with a lover’s thirst to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks- an existence of soft and eternal peace.”
It’s time to let the gentle breeze of God blow in your face, brave warrior.