In 1970, I was hopelessly caught up in the tragedy and horror of the Vietnam war. My wife, Sue, was just two months pregnant when I received the dreaded induction notice.
On April 30, 1970, President Richard Nixon announced that U.S. Troops had begun a ground offensive against the Communist strongholds in Cambodia. I was shipped out and participated along with over forty thousand troops with this maneuver in the Army's Tenth Combat Division. On October first, my platoon was moving west when we were hit hard by a sniper attack. I was trying to retreat to safety when I heard a blood-chilling scream. I turned in time to see my buddy Pete go down in a hail of bullets from enemy fire. Every instinct told me to save myself and keep on running . I only had to hear his desperate cries to realize that I could not abandon a man who had gone out of his way to show a green recruit the ropes and given me hours of badly needed escape from our mutual war trauma and suffering by really showing an interest in my life and my hopes to rejoin my wife and new baby when the nightmare of war was finally over. I shared his dream of finding the right lady some day and starting a family of his own. He dreamed of becoming a teacher with the help of the G.I. bill for education. I turned around and went back towards where he lay moaning, screaming for a medic the entire time.
I had crossed the fifty feet between us in what seemed like seconds when I was shot down by machine gun fire. Pain ripped through my legs and I fell forward. The next thing I knew I was viewing the scene from about sixteen feet above my body. I saw that my body had been hit several times in the right leg and once in the left. I was convinced that I was going to bleed to death and felt tremendous sorrow that I'd never see my wife and our unborn baby. My sadness was joined by a growing confusion and curiosity. So, this is death? I thought. No pain! No fear! How weird, I don’t feel any different. I still can think. I stared at my body and wondered what was coming next.
My buddy, Pete was lying next to my body. I was shocked to see a mist leave from his head, which instantly turned into an exact duplicate of his body. I noticed that his spirit or new body was whole and glowed a bit. (His physical body below was missing his hand and part of his forearm due to being hit by the same sniper.) Pete looked dazed and I called to him. He immediately flew to join me and we discussed what was going to happen from that point. We noticed that a young black medic had discovered our bodies. First he checked Pete and then me. He began working on my body and Pete commented that he guessed that meant he was dead, but that I probably still had a chance.
He reached out and shook my hand and said, "I want to thank you for being a good friend and for trying to save my life. I don’t know why, but I just get this sense that I am not staying here. I am going someplace I’ve been before. It feels like home. I know this sounds crazy, but I think it’s not your time to go yet. I think I’ll try to say goodbye to my mom now, but you go on and have a groovy life and if your kid is a boy name him after me. OK?" I said, "You got it Pete!" I reached over to give him a pat on the back, but he vanished in a blink of light. I watched several soldiers below help carry me away from the scene while the medic continued to work on me. I was filled with a yearning to be with my young wife and my unborn child. Suddenly, I was slammed back into my body, as if I fell from forty feet above.
Due to my injuries, I was shipped home one month later. I had no opportunity to attend my pal’s funeral, but I did research his family and called his Mom. His mother, Thelma, answered and I offered my heartfelt condolences to her and she said her son had come to see her on the night he was killed. She had a visit in a dream where he had stayed long enough to tell her he had passed over to the other side, but not to grieve for him as he was happy and he had a job to do. He held out his arms and a light appeared to come to him. A beautiful, radiant child formed next to him. He was a five or six year-old boy with auburn curls and hazel eyes. He had a sprinkling of freckles across his nose and cheeks. "Who’s that?" His mom asked. "Why, this is little Pete. He wants to know about his Daddy, what his earthly life will be like and what he can expect. I'm showing him the ropes. Little Pete and I will be together for a long time, HE CAN COUNT ON IT!!" He picked up the child and hugged him.
The image faded quickly. Pete’s mom wanted to know all about her son, where he was at, but had no chance. The image of the adorable child stuck in her mind. Since Pete had been a bachelor, was this child an illegitimate child of his? Who is the mother? Where could she go to see her grandson? Was this child even born yet? What did Pete mean about teaching this child about "his earthly life"? Little Pete obviously was named after his dad. She even felt there was a family resemblance. How would she ever know? Where could she go for help?
All those questions seemed to haunt her every waking moment and increased even more after she was told that her son Pete had indeed been killed in action on the same day as the dream. She was sad and hurt by her only son’s death, but felt he had given her proof that he was fine and was alive on a different plane. The child he had called "little Pete" was still a mystery she knew she had to solve.
I told her about my wife’s pregnancy and the promise I made to Pete about naming a son after him. I suggested this might have been the child she was shown in the dream on October 1, 1971. I promised to stay in touch and send photos of my child when he or she was born in 4 to 5 weeks.
My son Peter was born on October 31, 1971. He was practically bald, but had striking hazel eyes. On his second birthday, I mailed photos to Pete’s mom in Colorado, and she called to say thanks. The photos resembled the little boy in her dream especially the mop of auburn curls. On Peter’s sixth birthday, she flew in to meet our family and burst into tears when she saw him. There was no doubt at all. This was the same boy she saw her son Pete with that awful night he died. We adopted her as "Granny Thelma" right on the spot. We stayed in touch through the years by phone and letters. She treasured each detail and photo of Peter.
She passed on recently; however Peter, his wife Karen, and their two sons visited her in the hospital the week before. She knew she'd soon be joining Pete and his Dad who had died in world war two. She was anxious to be reunited and thanked ‘little Pete’ (now 27) for being the grandson she had wanted since her first vision of him. Peter told her he had always suspected that Pete was watching over him, especially when he was in the Desert Storm conflict.
The experience was vivid and real and gave me hope that when we die, we really live on and can see all our own departed relatives. I also feel that children are gifts from God that may get training from angels before choosing their families on the earth plane. Even though it goes against the teachings of my church, I am studying the idea of reincarnation. I don't know all the answers, but I look at life in a really new light. I got an idea of what the "Big Picture" is like. If everyone could do the same, I know that there would never be another war! Love and peace to all who read this.