Saturday, August 12, 2006

30 Years Later...a Tribute to an Angel

I had the honor tonight of receiving an email from a Vietnam Veteran. I answered his email,and we "talked" back and forth for awhile.

To my surprise and awe, later in the evening he sent this email.

Dear Kathi....
After talking with you and getting to know a little about you, your family and your involvement in such a very special group as the Soldier's Angels I decided to share my own personal story with you about my "special angel".  Please feel free to forwarded this to your group if you like......
  Her name was Sister George Bernard, I first met her as a sassy and brash senior in high school, the year 1967.  Sister Bernard knew that all the boys in her typing class at the senior year was there for only one reason, an easy class, well maybe two...girls !!  She was, even back then, a tough member of the Sisters of Notre Dame order, maybe 5ft 2, deaf, and mean as a rattle snake stuck on a barb wire fence !  At least that was our description of her from a senior in high schools view point.  She ruled her class with a wooden ruler and demanded strict attention and disclipine in her classes, some how we all survived and I graduated high school in 1968.
  Soon after graduation I found myself in the military and headed across that big pond to a little country called Viet Nam.  I was in country only about a month when I received my first letter from Sister Bernard or Sister George as I would soon come to call her and for the next 22 months not once did a day go by that I did not receive a letter from this feisty lil woman.  She shared her hopes and faith with me in ways that religion never could impress upon me and always she ended her letters with a simple quote.  I came to share with her my life in those days in many ways that I could or would not share with my own family, she was my guardian angel during many moments of terror, she was my comforter in faith and healing during a hospital stay due to my wounds.  Literally the woman did not miss one day for 22 months.......
  My story of the horrors of war and my experience's are not any different than the thousands of others there, but even upon my return to civilian life, Sister George helped me thru 15 yrs of PTSD....only we didn't know that what is was called back then, night mares and alcoholism.
  I'll make this story short and say that in 1988 at the age of 92, Sister George Bernard died in the country of Africa doing missionary work.
  Some 30 years later I am even more grateful for this Soldier's Angel and the smiles and tears the telling of this story has brought to my heart and eyes tonight.
Please pass this on to your group my thanks and prayers for your cause from an eternally grateful vet for his Soldier's Angel..... the way, the simple quote she aways wrote at the end of her letters was.
"To thy own self be true, it then follows, as the nite the day, thy cannot be false to another.." 
 On July 13Th of this month I celebrated 20 yrs of sobriety.....thanks to the seeds planted by one very special woman.
With deepest gratitude
I got permission to post this here, and am also passing this on to my fellow Angels, as this veteran asked. This tribute brought tears to my eyes,and also renewed my commitment to continuing to write to our troops. 30 years ago, a very special woman decided to do the same, and I feel honored to humbly attempt to follow in her footsteps.
I know this veteran's Angel is now resting from her work in the arms of her Lord. God bless the soul of "Sister George" and God bless "her" veteran, and all of those who have served our country in the past!
I posted this over on Mail Call!  I also had just finished posting a 'Weekend Surfing' when I got Jody's email,if you want to go check that out 
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