Story of a Brave Soldier and a Praying Mother

Ps 41:2 - The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land ... NIV

My brother joined the Army when he was still a teenager. He rose up thru the ranks and became a squad leader, platoon leader and then Community Sergeant-Major.

In his tours of duty he was stationed in Vietnam during the war. One evening his wife was watching the news on the television. She saw that in a graveyard there were 70 some pair of boots with the helmets and rifles. This was done to make the enemy think that they were dead because they would not enter a graveyard due to their superstitions. The news account said it was a certain Division, but did not mention that her husband’s Division was attached to that Division until help could arrive, so she was unaware that her husband was among the soldiers that were in such danger.

In one of the skirmishes he was hit in the shoulder and got shrapnel in his face.

He had a praying mother who kept him in her prayers. It was, I am sure, a quite traumatic experience when she got the telegram from an official of the Army that he had been shot, but what a joy to learn he had not been killed.

He was brought back to the United States for surgery and recuperation. The injury to his shoulder made one arm shorter than the other so that he could not carry a rifle. He was sent back over to Vietnam to join the Intelligence Crew to help map out the plans of the battle for that day.

One time he was 5 minutes late getting to the helicopter and it took off without him, and everyone on board was killed. Another time as they were lifting off they were being shot at and when they were hit he and another soldier were able to jump off the helicopter before it exploded and everyone else on board was killed.

The bullet proofvest or the small New Testament Bible he carried that his mother had given him saved his life when he was hit. His wife said that especially the one time out of a couple times he was hit, that it was the little New Testament Bible that saved his life.

Before retiring from the service he taught Reserve Officer’s Training Corp. at a nearby university where he was stationed. When he was retiring because of health reasons he was awarded by a Brig. General on television the Legion of Merit Award which the newspaper said was probably the second highest peacetime award this country gives, second only to the Distinguished Service Cross. Earlier in his career he had also received the Bronze Star for Valor in battle, the Purple Heart, and the Combats Infantryman’s Badge. He had multiple, multiple medals, but never showed them off.

He was a man that didn’t even want to have a funeral. He wanted to protect his wife because she would be living alone in their country home. He just wanted to be cremated and this was the arrangements that were made. He never wanted anything made over him. He was not like that.

At his death his wife was persuaded to let there be a viewing of his body before he was cremated. There were retired soldier friends there who took turns standing guard over his body. Because there were so many people there and they were reluctant to leave, the retired soldiers got together and decided to play taps and give him a 21 gun salute. It was a fitting climax for a brave soldier that served his country well.


The warm caress of my mother’s hand
The sweet reflections of her smile
Carry me o’er life’s highway,
As I travel on mile after mile.

The little twinkle as she winks her eye
The gentle kiss that she plants on my face
These all sustain me through my life’s journey
As I reflect upon her sweet grace.

Thank you Lord, for my Dear Mother,
I love to feel her warm embrace.
The years seem more dearer that she’s with us
No one could ever take her place.

Keep her in Your care and bless her,
As her children all look her way.
May they all come to know You love them,
And be there with her in heaven some day.

By Norma Wellman

(The poem is in memory of our loving mother written before she passed away. The story of my brothers death was after she had passed away. She didn‘t have to go thru the trauma of his death.)

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