If you are able
JUDGE ME BY THE FOOTPRINTS I LEAVE BEHIND A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco. "Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've got a favor to ask. I have a friend I'd like to bring with me." "Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him." "There's something you should know," the son continued, "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us." "I'm sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live." "No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us." "Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own." At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know. Their son had only one arm and one leg. The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don't like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren't as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are. Thankfully, there's someone who won't treat us that way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are. Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night, say a little prayer that God will give you the strength you need to accept people as they are, and to help us all be more understanding of those who are different from us!!! There's a miracle called friendship that dwells in the heart. You don't know how it happens or when it gets started. But you know the special lift It always brings and you realize that Friendship is one of God's most precious gifts! Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. Show your friends how much you care....
I received this next article in my e-mail. It may not have anything to do with the Vietnam War, but I beleive it has the right to have its place on this website. It has the right because we as Veterans fought to uphold our freedom and keep our rights as American citizens. What happened at Columbine High School touched the hearts of people around the world. And hit hard at the hearts of Americans. What is the answer to stopping this type of violence?? I really wish I had that answer. But what Mr. Scott said in his testimony really made sense to me. I can remember going to school back in the 50s and 60s. The typical day started out by the teacher leading the class in The Lords Prayer, followed by the teacher reading a verse from the Bible. Then we went on and said the Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag. To this day I know of no one who suffered from that. I think Mr. Scott says it all in his following testimony.
TESTIMONY OF DARRELL SCOTT - FATHER OF TWO VICTIMS OF COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING - LITTLETON, COLORADO BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME - HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE - UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THURSDAY, MAY 27,1999 2:00 P.M. - 2141 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the heart of men and of women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher and the other children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart. In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughters death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent. I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy - it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of that blame lies here in this room. Much of that blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that express my feelings best. This was written way before I knew l would be speaking here today.
Men and women are three part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our makeup, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational Systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historic fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs - -politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that continue to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our OWN hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation is not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy Television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God. As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes. He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America and around the world to realize that on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School - prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your conscience and denies your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before you cast the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain. The young people of this country will not allow that to happen.
I have to admit that this next poem really touched my heart. It was written by the daughter of a Vietnam Vet. And having children of my own......Well you read it and I think you will understand why.
THE FOLLOWING WERE SUBMITTED BY MIKE STEWERT, 2nd Platoon, 2nd Squad, "B" Co. 3/187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.
Walter F. Putnam I-CORP 68-69