One: Pure Luck or God's Hand
Chapter Two: The American Revolution
– Darkest Hour
Chapter Three: The Civil War
– Moment of Decision
Chapter Four: World War II –
The Tide Turns
Chapter Five: The Cold War –
Brink of Armageddon
Chapter Six: The Hand of Providence
in America's Wars
Appendix: War and God in My Own
I had never been so scared. The mortar attack seemed to go
on for hours, although I would learn
later that it lasted only minutes. The air was filled with
smoke, dirt, and shrapnel. I could feel the
shock wave of each exploding mortar shell while lying exposed
on open ground. I had been caught without a foxhole or even
an entrenching tool, and quickly noticed that no one else
was so ill
prepared. I had flown in by helicopter to join the Third Battalion,
Third Marines the day before, on
March 24, 1967. At first light on this eventful morning, I
learned that infantry battalion command
groups were favorite targets of North Vietnamese mortar teams.
With no duties to perform, all that I
could do was think about where the next shell was going to
land, and pray that it wouldn't be on me.
I did pray, and I did survive that attack. I also survived
other close calls during the Vietnam War and
throughout my career as a Marine infantry officer. For most
of my life I have not been a "religious"
person, but have still been forced to consider a recurring
question: Have I been an extremely "lucky"
man, or has God's hand protected me during many dangerous
and pivotal moments?