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"When he left his seat that day, we were speechless for we knew we had been in the presence of a great warrior."

Recently during our travels, we were given a very beautiful but unexpected gift that came to us in the form of a Vietnam Veteran.

We were at an Inner Healing and Awareness Expo and the schedule for readings was very tightly booked, when a certain man appeared. There was a very special presence about him and Spirit made it very clear that he was to be seen. It would be hours before it would be possible, but he was willing to wait. Before a reading is begun, prayers are offered to The Creator for wisdom and guidance and for the highest purpose to be accomplished for the time being spent together.

Almost immediately it was realized that a great and unrecognized hero was in our presence. We share with you, a very small portion of his story so that the sacrifices he made and his amazing courage will not go unnoticed.

He was only 17 years old when he joined the Marines and was shipped off to Vietnam. He was still too young to be called a man. He didn't even have the right to vote in the country he was defending. Without fully realizing the immense danger he was placing himself in, he began a journey that would change his life forever. Those of us who have not experienced a tour of duty such as our veterans have, will never know the terrible and horrendous cost of our freedom.

As a young member of his new brotherhood, he took his survival training very seriously. He knew his life and the life of his fellow Marines depended on his remembering what to do in any given situation. Nothing, however, could prepare this young teenager for what real life was about to bring to him. He was about to experience a rite of passage that few could survive.

His entire troop was sent out on a particularly dangerous mission. Over 170 of our brave men were advancing into enemy territory when suddenly, they were ambushed by the Vietcong. Raging gunfire and screams of war and of death..... and then......only silence. Out of all of those Marines, only one survived that horrible massacre. All around him were his slaughtered brothers, those he loved and honoured. Most of us couldn't endure even the thought of what he saw there. Other than the stench of death in the steaming jungle, he was completely alone. He was severely wounded and no one knew he was alive. For one month, he wandered in the dense forest by himself, eating ants, bugs and small birds to stay alive. His survival training reminded him that many of the plants were inedible because of their poisonous content. During that horrendous experience of which very few of us would have survived, this hero lost his boyhood, his leg and his ability to sleep without nightmares of his fallen comrades for the rest of his life. He returned to a country in political chaos who failed to honour the heroes of that devastating war. Yet, 30 years later, still filled with memories of his brothers who were lost, he was absolutely determined to make his life count, not only because he had lived, but because they had not.

Every year we set aside a couple of days to honour those men and women who have given and continue to give so much for our freedom. We give so little to them in return, for their war never ends. It is part of the very fabric of their lives and forever continues in their memories.....long after we have forgotten. We owe them our gratitude, our prayers and our lives as well as the lives of the generations that follow who desire to live in freedom.

When he left his seat that day, we were speechless, for we knew we had been in the presence of a great warrior. Forever he will remain in our hearts as a gift that came to us, reminding us, that all the personal struggles we have ever endured have never compared to his. The tragedy that this warrior will continue to overcome as long as he has a memory serves as a lesson to us. We can make it! We each have a divine purpose for our being. No matter what is happening at this very moment, or comes to us in the future, we have all been given the ability to make it through, if we so choose to use it.

...always know that you are never alone and that the Great Mystery walks beside you and is with you on your journey.

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