I was a member of 2nd Brigade in the 82d Airborne Division in August of 1990. We were the first ground troops to deploy to Saudi Arabia for the Desert Shield/Desert Storm conflict. As Gen. Johnson put it, “We are drawing a line in the sand.” With that said, we were wheels up, headed for the gulf. The moment we arrived there was fear and tension in the air. We knew as we landed, we were greatly outnumbered by the Iraqi forces just over the border. If they attacked us at that point, all hell would have broken loose. I am glad that Saddam balked at the opportunity. For it wasn’t long before the follow-on forces were quickly streaming in behind us.
When thrust into a situation like this, it is not long before your look at your mortality. In doing this, your mind imagines what will happen if you “buy the farm”. You start to mourn the loss of your own life and what it will be like for the people you leave behind. Do they truly know how I feel about them? Will this change the course of their lives? There is so much unfinished business when dying before your time, and with very little notice.
After my mind played out several scenarios, I began to wonder about my “soul”. I never had proclaimed myself to be saved by Jesus and had always hinged on being agnostic or atheist. I had come to believe that heaven was too good to be true. A fantasy ending – to a fairytale story. But this situation was different, I had to be sure because we weren’t in Kansas anymore. The stakes were higher than ever, you have to get this one right. There is no turning back. And there it was, a military issue bible in camouflage sitting on my cot. Could the answer be in here? I started to read.
I had read the bible, or parts of it in the past, but this time I needed to give it my full attention. What I found was things that really didn’t make sense to me. I could say the same if I was reading Shakespeare. There are a lot of quotes and bits and pieces that make sense, but as a whole, I can’t put this all together. They sure didn’t make it easy for the novice reader. This is my soul we are talking about! Thankfully there are guides to help you along your path. Experts in the field to answer these questions and help guide you to salvation. There are also a lot of common folk who have taken it upon themselves to interpret the bible in the way that they see fit. I began to understand why there were so many different Christian based religions all based on the same book. And if you were a part of one of these, you will be covered in the whole soul and afterlife department. Good!