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Army Paratrooper Takes Comfort and Hope Listening To Taps During the Vietnam War

A story from a Vietnam veteran testifies of God’s transforming work. I served as an airborne Ranger platoon leader (paratrooper) in the First Air Cavalry Division during the Vietnam War. Our company was hacked up pretty badly by the enemy during one mission. When our platoon survivors returned to base camp, we all trudged down the muddy path to our tent. As the men took their places in their bunks, the number of empty bunks became apparent. Men put their faces in their hands and sobbed like children. Each of us wondered if our bunk would be empty at the end of the next mission. Fortunately, there was something we could always count on to help keep our sanity...late in the evening, long after the sun had gone down, a distant bugle could be heard playing "Taps." When that haunting, nostalgic song was played, all activity in the battalion area came to a screeching halt. Conversations would stop and men would sit back in their bunks, listening to what had to be the most poignant sound I have ever heard. Now, years later, as I look back on the horrors of that combat, I remember that unknown bugler who played "Taps" so late every night. It seemed that, if only for a few moments, we were assured that someone was up there, sending us renewed hope through those twenty-four simple notes. THE WORDS TO "TAPS" are: Day is Done, Gone the sun, From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

(SOURCE: Bill Scheibler, Vietnam veteran, Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Citation: Taps: Notes from a Nation’s Heart. Richard H. Schneider. New York: Harper Collins, 2002. p. 78.)

From a sermon by Leland Patrick, Do Not Lose Heart! (Part 2), 11/10/2009

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