Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To a son in combat in Viet Nam

In advance of the Memorial Day weekend, here is an appropriate first entry for this blog, as it reminds me of the sacrifices from our military throughout American history.

I spotted this book at a Houston library sale: Beyond Combat, by Major James M. Hutchens (Moody Press, Chicago, 1968). I bought it for the inscription inside.

Just a few words--brief, but poignant. My thoughts went immediately to the mixture of fear, love, and pride the mother must have felt for her son. Then I thought about her son and what he was experiencing and feeling at that time during that horrendous war. I wondered if he came back alive. Or did this book and other gifts from Mother, as well as his personal effects, return home without him? I wondered what his mother’s gift meant to him, assuming he survived to receive it, as well as the letters she must have sent to him.

Psalm 16:11 - Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence fullness of joy; at thy right hand pleasures for evermore.

The name of the young soldier in the inscription, Carroll, reminded me of another Carroll involved with books going to soldiers in America’s current war: Andrew Carroll of the Legacy Project, a component of which is distributing Armed Service Editions (popular in World War II) of literature and popular books.

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