(J) Angel of death
As I have stated before, the second time I got hit in Vietnam was on the 5th of September in 1969. This was after the night of fighting off the Vietcong, who were trying to overrun our position at the front of the Landing Zone.
After a night of fighting off the Vietcong, who were trying to overrun our Landing Zone, I went out the next morning to help some wounded get on helicopters that were attempting to land, in the open field.
As I arrived there, waiting for the arriving medical helicopters, sent to fly out the wounded, I had put myself in a position where two or three rocket propelled grenades (R.P.G.’s) that were shot off far away from me by the Vietcong from the previous night’s fight, landed and exploded around me. Then some of the shrapnel from the bombs hit my body. I fell on my knees, as I was fighting desperately to stay alive.
As I knelt there, bleeding severely from multiple wounds from the flying red-hot shrapnel, I slowly lowered myself to my knees, I did not realize it then I had lost a lot of blood. I tried to compose myself and then I saw what I thought was a vision of an angel, standing still, to my right side about two to three hundred feet away.
This uninvited visitor seemed large, being about ten to twelve feet high, draped with a black, hooded cloth that dragged on the ground. As it stood there, I tried to see its' face, -I noticed, as I focused in, its arms or legs were not visible, either-, yet seeing only a complete darkness beyond the robe. Around this large messenger was a fog that surrounded him and the entire area. In fact, all I saw was this visitor and a dense fog, no war, no battlefield, no bunkers. Although it made no movement towards me, I felt a great sense of danger and fear; it was as though I knew what he came to do!
Much later after I returned home, I located verses that reflected this experience in the bible. Recorded in Exodus 11:5 – 7 & 12:7, where it relates how on the final night of captivity for the Israelis, that God sent an angel of death to kill the first born of the land of Egypt, with the exception of the Israeli’s, who were instructed to put lambs blood on their two side posts and upper posts. This really sent chills up my spine since I felt more like the Egyptians then I did an Israelite. I always been taught about angels, as you will read about much later, but they sure were not like the one I saw.
And while the time of the day seemed to be about ten in the morning, I noticed that the brightness of the day, with a full sun, had turned into a shadow of darkness around this visitor. The sun was nowhere that I could see, and it seemed as if time had stopped! I saw a verse written much later again, referring to this in the book of Psalms of the Bible, where in Psalm 18:11, KJV, it is written: "He enshrouded Himself with darkness, veiling His approach with dense clouds, dark as murky waters". This was so close to what I witnesses then and I knew then where I was headed!
I remembered thinking then, of the promise I had made my mother a few months previously that I would return home, I believe now that I would not have, without the humility I felt at that moment. This really shows how much what we say at times can make a difference. I can only imagine now if I had just left without saying what I did to my mother; how the events of my life could have been drastically changed forever if I had done that. Because of the promise I made chose to cry out and say; "God give me another chance; please, and I will do better”.
Much later as before, after I had been home, I found another bible passage written in the book of Psalms of the Bible, Psalm 18:6, KJV, where it is written: "In my distress I screamed to the Lord for His help, and He heard me from heaven; my cry reached His ears". God did reach out to me after I turned to Him in Vietnam. He did show me that He indeed had heard me, by the Angel He sent me, and further, God demonstrated to me that He loved me.