One of the controversies/arguments that plagued the Vietnam War was, was it an all-out war or was it just a military conflict. Well for those of us who were there, there is no doubt in our minds that was a “war.” Soldiers were wounded, disabled and dying in battle and that is a war! After reading the letters I had written, I saw the war as both. At the age of 20, I viewed it as a War with many conflicts. The conflicts that I personally faced were; (1) The North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong Guerrillas. (2) The loneliness of separation, will my fiancée and I be able to overcome loneliness and temptation and remain faithful to one another during this period of separation. (3) Fear and doubt, was my faith in God strong enough to overcome the fear of death by doubting God’s promise of deliverance.
I then realized that in order to survive the “War,” I would have to address each conflict differently. My M-16 Rifle and other Military Weapons would prove to be effective against the enemy, but not against the loneliness of separation nor fear and doubt. So, I came up with two more weapons to effectively address all three conflicts. To effectively deal with loneliness of separation, I had to communicate, communicate and communicate. And my weapon would be pen, paper and pictures” (many letters). I figured that with letters and pictures I would keep Barb’s memories of me and my love for her fresh in her heart and mind. To effectively address faith, we both had to pray without ceasing. It would be through prayer that we would remain together spiritually. We have always believed that our relationship was a match made in heaven.
So, to answer that question “how did I make it through the Vietnam War whole?” Well when you finish reading these letters, you can see how I took a holistic approach. I identified my enemies and used the right weapon to ensure a total victory. As a result, I left the Vietnam War “Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually Whole.”
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