“Tango, Oscar, Charlie, this is Hotel! We’ve been hit! We’ve been hit! Send choppers!” Green tracers shredded the darkness as the NVA emptied their magazines into the panicking Ranger team. As the soldiers scrambled to find their rifles, red tracers shot through the night in return fire. The firefight was short and fierce, lasting only three minutes, with the NVA and the Americans so close to each other that they didn’t dare use hand grenades for fear of getting hit by their own shrapnel. A dozen rifles roared…

Isaiah 53  (New Living Translation) Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this? Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on…

I leaned forward, reached into the seat pocket in front of me and rummaged around, searching for the unopened deck of playing cards. I let the elastic pouch snap shut, tore the cellophane off the deck, and flipped the top card over to find the joker card mocking my anxiety. The wild card. Figures, I thought to myself. Anything can happen in a game where the Joker is wild. I penned May 17, 1969 on the face of the card and made a mental note to write my…

It was not an easy climb. Halfway up the hill, the ascent was nearly vertical. Jim Glenn and the rest of Alpha team, were gradually inching up the mountain above me, carrying their rifles in one hand while pulling themselves upward with the other hand, grabbing fistfuls of grass and shrub. I paused, wrapped my arm around a tree and shifted my footing in the soft, fern-covered soil, tearing the delicate ground cover and causing a miniature landslide as the dirt gave way under my weight. My feet…

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