Jung Myung Seok

“Love” saves my life and others

This episode happened sometime when I was in Tuy Hoa area when I was 22. My unit was urgently dispatched to the edge of Mt. Cai during the wee hours. We knew that  the Vietcong would come down to a town via this area for provisions. My unit ambushed in a line. The tropical heat was so oppressive that we felt like we were steamed in a cooker. All day long, we had to lie on our stomachs in ambush, taking aim with a rifle in the scorching heat. At about 4pm, a couple of enemies began to appear. We watched warily as their numbers increased up to 17. They were cautiously approached toward us, carrying their weapons on their sides. Over the next one and a half hours, they finally reached a point only 30m away from us. Our plan was to shoot them simultaneously when they were 25m away.

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My heart went out to them – they were naively headed for an execution ground. I was greatly troubled as if it was me out there walking toward death. I thought of their family members, sweethearts, and special ones. Just as my mother and other family members would eagerly pray for my life and safety, theirs would do the same. Killing them meant more than just getting rid of enemies, at the same time, it also made the lives of their loved ones hell. It was too cruel and sorrowful.

Saving Lives

I pleaded with God and the Lord to save their lives. Then, an inspiration hit me,

“Do I kill them? It’s you who kill them. Why do you ask me to save them?”

Upon hearing that, I realized that whether they were saved or killed was up to me. The Vietcong continued approaching us stealthily, but they moved slowly because they were looking out in all directions. It was as if they sensed a gloomy foreboding. We were on the brink of killing them at the platoon leader’s command. It dawned on me that I had to do something quickly to save them. Once I thought of them as my sweetheart, I couldn’t lose any second. I purposely coughed. The Vietcong, at once, lied on the ground. They were whispering to each other to verify what the sound was.

Looking at their clueless behaviours, I grabbed a handful of tall grass in front of me and shook it. This time, they darted back to the way they’d come. Another miracle for saving lives took place in my heart. Such rescuing deeds saved the lives of my company – for one year, nobody in my company was injured despite the countless engagements.

Meanwhile, my military duty was done, so I returned to Korea. Three months later, when I rejoined the same company, I could barely find any familiar faces for they had been killed. 

On the day I arrived, some were killed, thus the atmosphere of the company was like that of a house in mourning. Even the company commander was crying. During the period of three months of my absence, the casualties were nine times higher than during the one year I was there despite our involvement in more numerous, dangerous operations then. Once again, I realized how God protected my war buddies’ lives while I was with them for I valued the lives of the enemies as if they were mine. Without me, the rampart that protected their lives fell.

Be aware that by the condition you saved others’ lives, God will protect yours accordingly. Love is intense as fire and stronger than hatred. It produces great miracles.

I could save the lives of the 17 foes in that operation alone because I loved them. Such deeds also freed their loved ones from possible dreadfulness. Since I treasure all lives, a meaningful life of saving mankind was bestowed upon me.


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