The following is the fictionalized story of my experience as a combat medic in Vietnam:

Once upon a time, there was a young man who lived in the land of Freedom. He was very happy and loved his family, his friends and the land of Freedom. In the evenings, after he had completed his college assignments, he would sit on the front steps of the dorm and play his harmonica. People loved to hear the happy pieces he played and would sing along. The young man thought life was grand and would always be that way.

One day, the young man received a letter from a buddy’s family. A few days later, he received a phone call from another buddy’s family.

The letter and phone call said that his buddies had been killed fighting for the King of Freedom. It was then he realized he was needed to fight for Freedom in the land of War, which is located in the midst of the land of Danger.

The young man did not want to leave the comfort of his dorm and family and go to the land of War, because he loved his family and knew he would have to pass through the terrible, shadowy land of Fear. But his heart told him he must go and become a good soldier and fight against the wicked King of Evil, so his family and all the children in the land of Future could remain free from the terrible bondage of the King of Evil, who was determined to destroy Freedom.

The young man packed his bags and left his home. But before he could go to serve in War, he had to pass through the land of Obedience to learn how to fight against the King of Evil. He studied and became gifted with medical skills along with others who had been summoned to the land of War to fight against, or mend those who fought against, the wicked King of Evil.

The King of Evil was not easily overcome, since he was full of lies and trickery and had already terrorized and murdered many people. The King of Freedom and the King of Kings had conquered the King of Evil many times, yet it seemed every time he was overthrown, he would soon return. He might look different or be in another location, but he was still the same wicked King of Evil who comes to kill and destroy the lands of Peace and Freedom.

Although the young soldier was now far from home, he remembered the teachings of his parents and grandparents from when he grew up in the land of Freedom. He knew that the wicked King of Evil was very strong and could only be defeated by the King of Kings, who is more powerful than all.

Every day, the good soldier would ask the King of Kings to go with him into battle, and the King of Kings never failed to be with him. The good soldier aided those wounded and dying in the land of War until, one day, he was able to return home again to the land of Freedom. He was very happy to be home, and his family and friends showed great joy at his return.

However, there were some who did not greet him when he arrived, nor did they thank him for protecting them from the terrible King of Evil. You see, the King of Evil works very hard to turn people against Freedom until even those who enjoy the fruits of Freedom sometimes choose to listen to the lies of the King of Evil. Many of these people move into the land of Deception without ever realizing their houses have moved.

Deception is a terrible place to live, because it is a land filled with lies, and everyone is dishonest there. The land of Truth is very difficult to see from there, because the view is hidden by Deception, and if you ask directions to the land of Truth, those who live in Deception will only tell you lies about which way to go.

The good soldier was very glad that he had stayed away from the land of Deception. The King of Kings had protected him from many other traps and pitfalls in War and Danger, and he was so thankful he had returned home from the land of War, for some of his buddies did not return and had given their very lives to protect Freedom.

Although he had no noticeable injuries from being in War, he did have many invisible scars from the battles that he fought. He didn’t tell anyone about the invisible scars, but those who knew him well could see them in the sadness of his eyes and now hear them in the voice of his harmonica, because no one can go to War and ever be the same again.

Because of the good soldier and others like him, the land of Freedom is still intact. Mothers and fathers are tucking their children safely into bed at night in Freedom, and the children in the land of Future will still be able to inherit the land of Freedom, because the good soldier believed in honor and truth and that evil must be overcome at each and every opportunity by every generation.

As the good soldier grew older, he was content in knowing that he had served Freedom well. Many nights before he went to sleep, he thanked the King of Kings for His protection against the King of Evil. All of his life, the good soldier would remain alert and watchful, and as with all good soldiers, he pledged to become a a point guard of Freedom for as long as he lived.

But the story does not end there, for the land of Freedom must always be safeguarded so the King of Evil will not prevail. The story will continue until the universe of Time is over.

And so, in the land of Future, the story may begin again: “Once upon a time, there was a young man who lived in the land of Freedom. He was very happy and loved his family and the land of Freedom where he lived. One day, the young man received a letter…”

The bottom line to my story is a quote from Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

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