A Soldier’s Story: “He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. I want him to come live with us.”

All too often we see soldiers coming back from war with injuries that are too horrible to describe. This story shows why those servicemen deserve our respect.

The soldier’s name is not unknown, but he was in the Army during the Vietnam war. The entire family knew that danger was involved in the service he was providing. His parents were positive that no harm would come to him.

When the day arrived and he left home, his parents said farewell through tears. Up until that point in his life he had lived in their home but now he was going to be thousands of miles away.

His parents continued to feel that he would be home soon. He served his tour, sending letters home on a regular basis but the letters stopped one day.

The mother and father were afraid that the unspeakable had happened…

Within a few weeks, they received a call from their son. He was in San Francisco and he had not written them because he was in the hospital. He let them know that he was better and was coming home.

He also asked if he could bring a friend home with him.

“Sure, we’d love to meet him,” the mom said. It was then that their son told them something shocking.

“There’s something you should know,” the boy said. “He was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live,” the mom finally responded.

“No, mom and dad. I want him to live with us,” the boy said.

That was when the father took the phone to speak his mind.

“Son, you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a disability would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.”

Their son hung up without responding.

At first, it was shocking to them that their son had ended the conversation so abruptly. They still reasoned that he would come to his senses eventually.

Within a few days, another phone call came in. They thought it was their son but it was the police who informed them that their son was dead in a suspected suicide.

His parents flew out to pick up the body and when they arrived there, they found out that their son was missing an arm and a leg. He wasn’t speaking about a friend, he was talking about himself. He wanted to see if his parents would accept him for what he was now.

Servicemen often come home with injuries, some that show and others that don’t.

This is a lesson we can all take to heart.

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