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graphic gory details and unsettling story presented.   Reader discretion advised.

Back in 1969, I was in Vietnam doing my patriotic duty and teaching others how to do theirs. I was a Green Beret trainer in hand to hand combat in guerrilla warfare. I felt the caring of enemy soldiers was like a giant video or chess game. I gave no thought at all to the fact that the enemy really had personalities, names, parents, wives, children complete with their own individual fears, goals, hopes and dreams. It just wasn’t anything I gave any thought to. They were just numbers to me. High kill numbers were good the higher the better. A conscience didn’t pay off in the military, high kill numbers did.

I was mean, tough, and macho. I could use every part of my body to kill. I was a trainer of such men as well. I’d been a bit too cocky one day and almost paid the ultimate price. I was caught off guard and was taken out by a mortar shell. I floated above my body and didn’t feel any pain. I couldn’t believe that I could still think, see, hear and even smell. I tried to feel the pulse of my own body below me but much to my shock my fingers went through my own neck. I knew I was seriously hurt. A Corpsman, I only knew as Skip, showed up and I felt the sense of relief. He began calling my name and asking me if I could hear him. I suddenly was looking eye to eye with him and answering his questions although he could not hear me. I noticed that he was bending very low over my body, yet we were eye to eye. It was then that I noticed, much to my amazement, that most of whatever body that I was now in, was in the ground. Only my chest, shoulders, neck and head were above ground.

I thought that was pretty weird, but it only got weirder when I felt a sucking sensation downward and was suddenly in a trench. This trench was filled with blood, guts and body parts. It had a consistency of thick beef stew. To make matters worse, I saw Asian looking men, women and even little children standing on both banks of this trench. They were pointing at me screaming. They grabbed at me as I sloshed and struggled my way through the revolting smelling mess toward a distant spot of light. These people on the banks were missing parts of their faces, bodies and limbs. A mother was holding her infant, and both of them had bullet holes in their faces. Even though they were speaking Vietnamese, I could tell that they were screaming that I was in some way responsible for their condition and their deaths. They were so horribly frightening that I tried to stay focused only on the light. I felt that if I could just reach the light I would be safe. None of these dismembered people on the banks ever touched me, but I felt that I was running a gauntlet anyway.

One of the most haunting memories of this torturous journey was of a six year old thin little girl I had referred to as Miss Piglet (due to the fact that she always hung around begging for food and candy and was filthy). She showed up at our camp one day and had something concealed in a bag slung over her shoulder. She looked as if she was about to do something that she knew she should not be doing. I carefully drew a bead on her from about 50 feet away and thought, "If she pulls out anything suspicious she is history". I saw her reach into her bag and pull out something that looked like a grenade. I thought "She has a grenade in that bag and has been sent to blow up my guys!" I then blew off the top of her head with a single shot. Her brother later told some of the other guys that she had been trying to find an American who would hide a puppy that she had become attached to, and to save it from becoming part of the family dinner that evening. Several of the guys had criticized me for reacting too quickly in firing, when in fact I had only seen the head of the black puppy from a distance and thought it was a grenade. I shrugged it off in my usual manner saying "She was an unfortunate victim of war". One of the people on the banks of the river of blood and guts was this little Vietnamese girl. She was screaming at me with what was left of her face. I was horrified and filled with guilt.

After I’ve gone through what seemed like miles of this trench, I heard my deceased best friend’s voice from high school telling me that I can do it. I can make it. I knew he was giving me encouragement. The encouragement I needed to make it to the light.
My friend, Ed, had died one and a half years ago in a hunting accident. Yet here he was suddenly helping me out of the trench and hugging me warmly. I felt tremendous relief, love and acceptance. Tears of joy ran down both of our faces. "Hey man" he said, I know that was rough. But you needed it, you were getting just a little bit too callous and that isn’t like you. It just wasn’t the Keith I knew when we played football together and hung around in high school. I took a good look around and was in awe by the incredible beauty of the place of where we both stood. It was like a meadow like a sparkling stream running through it. The colors were much more vivid than on earth. I noticed for the first time that Ed was glowing, and I looked at my own arms and they glowed slightly too. He said to me, "you are not doing the right thing, you should not be doing this killing. Your mission is to help others and to protect them. You will learn more about your mission as you go along, but for now you need to go back. This is your home and you will return, but for now you need to go back and discover your mission in full." As soon as he said that I felt a pop and was instantly in pain and lying in a hospital bed.

Later that day, Skip the Corpsman, had stopped by to see me. I thanked him for saving my life. He wondered how did I know that it was him that tried to save him, much less knew that he shouted my name, taken my pulse, and worked on me until more help arrived. I just shrugged it off and decided to keep the rest of the story in secret. Weeks later I was shipped home and began to study to become a teacher. Since my Vietnam experience, I had felt a compelling protective need toward women and children. I even help out by volunteering to build shelters for abused and displaced women and their children. I have had some paranormal experiences since then but we will save that for a later time. I hope that this NDE will shed some light on your research.