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The Journey Continues: Fort Benning Reunion Part 2

Sunday, July 8, 2018

More from my recent journey to Fort Benning, Georgia, where I met with friends from 50 years ago from our infantry rifle company in Vietnam.

Another Lieutenant Bazmore’s memory: “Being a new lieutenant and taking over an infantry rifle platoon of 35 veterans is a challenge. My test for acceptance was not map reading, marksmanship or physical stamina; but a simple test of human relations. On an extremely hot and long patrol, hydration was critical. On a break, the patrol with soldiers from every race and ethnic background passed a canteen cup of water from the rear forward in my location, each man in turn taking a swallow. It came my turn and with every eye looking at me, I put my lips on the cup and took the last swallow. I passed the test: We were brothers, living, fighting and dying together.”

As it says in Psalm 133:1,

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to

dwell together in unity!”

Our group toured the National Infantry Museum, acclaimed in U.S.A Today as the “best free museum in the United States.”

A woman who represented the Museum gave our group a special introduction as she acknowledged our service to the nation with a “Welcome Home” pin to wear on our “Hero” caps, followed by an affectionate hug and kiss for each of us. This was special to me because of the “no touching” mores of today’s world. It reminded me of the “Holy Kiss” mentioned in Romans 16:16.

On the tour, I saw the name of an old friend, Lieutenant Steve E. Karopczyc listed on the Medal of Honor Wall.

Conversation on issues among our small group included heart surgeries, blood thinners, blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, hearing loss, Agent Orange, mental breakdowns, PTSD, divorce and children.

On PTSD, one man has personally written a 40-page workbook entitled “LZ Hope – A Self Help Manual,” which he hopes to share with veterans from all conflicts dealing with PTSD issues. It is good.

Two topics of note that were not discussed were decisions made by leaders in the heat of combat and the volatility of political issues in our present day world.

Although there were two preachers, one deacon, one Sunday School teacher present, there was no discussion of “religion” either. The closest we came was when one man turned to a “seeker” and said: “Listen, I’d have to hate you a lot not to tell you about Jesus.”

1 Peter 2:17 sums up our reunion.

“Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king (our country).”

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