By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
When I taught sixth-grade world history, I grew accustomed to adolescent boys who dreamed of becoming soldiers and warriors like the ancient kings they studied.
Later, when I taught English composition at the college, several of my students were young marines who bore unseen scars of battles less glamorous than those portrayed in middle-school history books.
Honed and hardened by superior officers and surreal experiences, they sat politely in plastic chairs and let me tell them how to write cohesive paragraphs for persuasive essays.
Most of those young men had grown up faster than they wanted. They’d fought to right the wrongs of others and, like their fathers, prevent the encroachment of tyrants who would rule the world at any cost.
I’ve always been proud of these boys-turned-men who listened to me drill the rules of punctuation. They were gentlemen, every one, hiding behind their attentive eyes what they’d seen in places I’d only heard of.
Often, their dreams leaked from their fingers, nightmares on the page, giving me a glimpse of the horrors, reminding me that veterans are not only the men and women of my parents’ generation or my own.
Now those veterans are my children, and they will someday be my grandchildren, fighting to protect those who cannot defend themselves.
May their dreams be restful, their battles quickly ended, their valor rewarded by peace.
God bless them every one.
There is no greater love than
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 NLT
~God bless them every one. Click To Tweet
*Image: “We took 32 hits but the Lord spared us. We did a mayday hard landing back at Khe Sanh [Vietnam].” J Pat Branch, April 1971, in 48th AHC, B model Huey gunship north of Dong Ha. Photo courtesy J Pat Branch.
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(c) 2019 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.
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