John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Love, the love of life is the motivator of a man willing to give his life so others may live. Love was the reason Jesus, being falsely accused, stripped down, beaten unmercifully, spat upon, mocked, went to be nailed to a cross between two thieves. Jesus said the highest form of love is to die, so another can live. We as combat veterans, know the hurt, the horror of war. We have tried to save the lives of our friends in combat and, sometimes, were unsuccessful. We may have witnessed out friends put their lives in harm’s way to save our lives, or maybe die trying.
The love of Jesus dying on the cross for mankind, is the greatest example of love to us all. It may be difficult for grunts to express their emotions, since we must soldier on. So we may never have said anything about love, or our willingness to put our life on the line for our brothers in combat. But it was there! It is because of this kind of love and self sacrifice that we formed friendships and such close bonds, as we served in combat.
After my military service, I missed that bond of brotherhood. So when I found out Hamburger Hill vets had started to reunite each May at Fort Campbell, I wanted to be there. I did not know what to expect. I did not know how I would react to my former fellow combat vets or how they would react to me. My apprehensions were dispelled at my first reunion when I got off the elevator and was met by my former platoon leader, platoon sergeant, and six or seven of my former platoon embers and friends. What a great reunion that was, and they get better every year.
This year, we hare having our 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Hamburger Hill Reunion, in conjunction with the National Rakkasan Association Reunion. All the stops are being pulled out. This will be the largest and best reunion of all. So if you have been hesitant to come to the Hamburger Hill Reunion or the National Reunion, this is the time to come. Call any Rakkasan battle buddies you served with and come this year. You will not be disappointed, and you will be very glad you came, and will want to come back again and again. We are a brotherhood of RAKKASANS!
Dennis Helms, Chaplain