On May 19, 1968 I learned a great lesson about my mortality. I was stationed at Camp Evans, Vietnam, just south of The DMZ, Camp Betty and Khe San. That evening we were feeling the effects of the Chinese and Russian 122mm Rockets, up close and personal. Being the Senior Crewchief in the 11th Avn. Co, 1st Air Cavalry Div. I ad a good supply of warm, nahhh, hot Schlitz Beer.

All the New Guys were huddled inside the Sand Bag Bunkers, scared to death! I and a couple of other, already blood tested Vets sat in Aluminum Lawn Chairs watching the fireworks display, drinking my stash of beer and checking our guns for the ground attack we knew must come after the Rockets and Mortars stopped. Our Ammo dump, in the center of the Camp, next to the Fuel Dump, had taken a round that began a cook off in the Dump.

Each time some Powder would blow, it would send 105, 155 and 175mm shells flying along with Mines, Grenades and anything else stored there. In that fuel dump were a group of twenty-five thousand gallon Fuel Bladders, made from rubber. I can't tell you exactly how those bladders would be ignited but I do remember the effect of that much Gasoline or Jet Fuel when it explodes.

That night I was blown out of my seat and hurled into a Sand Bag Wall that with the concussion and one dummy crashing into it, it fell down! With the explosion, came at least one White Smoke Grenade. As I lay there, almost smart enough to know this hurt, one of the Newbees screamed Gas and every one of those 'Cruts stepped on me as they ran from the White Smoke Grennade.

That was just the beginning though, later, the lesson came. I had three or four beers before the next Fuel Bladder blew and I had gotten up to relieve myself and it blew as I stood there. I was behind a just finished building but that did not slow the 105mm Howitzer Round from buzzsing so close that I felt the breeze of it's passing. As I turned to look at the, formerly, staked 2x6s and the unexploded 105 round, fear gripped my heart. I began to run, as hard and fast as I could from the Fuel and Ammo dump direction. An NCO caught me and threw me to the geround and as we lay the, in the middle of the Company Street, he asked me, “Sarge, where are you going?” I answered, “I'm going to tell my mama, they are trying to kill her baby boy!

We, both. Lay there in the middle of the carnage and nearly died laughing and here is the lesson. None of us, not even the very best of us, can stand alone. Just as I needed that Sargent to pull me to the ground that night, to keep me safe, I needed my Jesus, the Christ, to take me into His care, that I could avoid Eternity in Hell. My Dad was one of the best men I ever knew. He was a very decorated Veteran of World War 2 in the Pacific and later in Korea. But if he was not saved before I knew him, he went to Hell because I never saw a single sign of salvation in him. He was haunted by the things he had accomplished and believed that he would never be able to earn his way into Heaven, even if it were to be real.

Having spent three tours in Vietnam, I know why he thought that way, men do incredible evil in
Combat! That, of course is one good reason for the requirement of the death/sacrifice of Jesus. None has ever and none will ever earn the right to be in Heaven with the Father but.. but that is exactly what the Father desires! If you can do as I did and accept Jesus as your Master, become His Purchased Slave, He will free you to live with His Father for all of Eternity.

My prayer is that you will read the Book of John four or five times and then talk to someone like myself or my Pastor, Scott Zyblot at Silver Springs Baptist Church in Magnolia, Texas. You can connect with him by searching the name of the church and the city and if you search for th1bill, you'll find me and we will help you. God bless!