I used to make hot chocolate for my team at night to keep them awake. So one friend, his name was Danny Mc Grady from North Carolina, wrote his wife all about it.
This one day, on fire base Currahee, I was at the front of this 155 that had armor plating on it to block shrapnel. I was talking to a friend beside me named Michael Allen Hawk (His name is on panel 20w row 20) from Black Diamond Washington. You know, just chit chat.
Then Danny called my name from behind the armor plating. He said his wife wrote me a letter thanking me for keeping everyone alive [with hot chocolate].
As soon as I walked around to the other side of that plate, Michael took a direct hit from a mortar and he was gone. All we found was one boot. I had just been there, standing right beside him.
All these years, I have thought about that moment and wondered about that letter, how it arrived from North Carolina exactly at that moment and saved my life. What if it had been earlier, or later?
Just one thing in my world I deal with. There are many other stories like it. We all have them, but I'm still amazed at the timing.
I told Danny that his wife and he save my life -- another debt I can never repay. We were blown away from the blast, but not a scratch.
My grandmother always said there were 2 angels watching over me 24/7. She was right. I still live with that now along with other ironic things.
I made my promise to all my team to never forget them. There are other stories like this also, just different people.
We were down to hand to hand when he came in, circled the base, and put rounds up close and personal. The war was over then for that night.
CJ: Michael, Your writing is good. It's clear, crisp, and factual. It's so hard to believe you haven't shared it before now.
I guess like most of us, I have kept quiet and withdrawn, due to the negative world we came back to. We couldn't and wouldn't talk about anything for fear of people lashing out at us. For the most part our country thought of us as failures and losers.
Thank you, Michael. Thank you so much. ~CJ
Other Posts by Michael Lansford:
“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale