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Bubble of Protection.
The year was 1968, I was an Army helicopter crew chief with the 118th Assault Helicopter Company stationed at Bien Hoa air base in Vietnam.

On this particular night I was performing maintenance on ships that were scheduled to fly missions the next morning. The night was calm with a light scent of napalm in the air.

At approximately one thirty am, I had just finished the maintenance on a gun ship at the far end of the flight line and was on a tug heading back to the hangar when I heard the sound of our siren going off alerting us of incoming enemy fire.

The siren is activated by spotters in a tower. When a flash of light is spotted, the men in the tower trip the siren to give us time to get to the nearest bunker. Just the sound of that siren fills you with complete fear. We know rockets and mortars are coming our way in a few seconds.

On this night however, I was alone on a tug heading back to the hangar. Filled with fear and panic at the sound of that siren, I was a sitting duck. I couldn't stay on the flight line because the ships were full of fuel, likely to explode if hit. I could try and run to the bunker but it was too far away, I was filled with an overwhelming fear, to a degree more than my mind could take. I could not tolerate the fear any longer and at that moment something else intervened and took over. An intense calmness washed over me. Immediately, I felt as if I had driven my tug into a large bubble, a bubble of protection and serenity, no panic, no fear, just perfect calm and tranquility

. The rockets and mortars started hitting all around the flight line. I could see, hear and feel the explosions, but during the attack while riding on the tug, I was an observer, watching from the sidelines, safe and absolutely protected in a bubble of otherworldly peace.

By the time I reached the hanger, the shelling had stopped and the bubble was gone. I still had the calmness around and within me knowing that I would be ok. The guys coming out of the bunker did a double take when they saw me sitting on the tug. A friend asked, What happened? Were you out here the whole time during the attack? I told him I was and too bad he missed it, it was beautiful. He just shook his head, walked into the hangar and went back to work.

I never told anyone what really happened until years later when I told my wife. That old saying, "it's a miracle you're still alive" holds true for me. Being pushed to the limit of fear a soul can take, invokes a higher source to step in and take control. To that source I thank you, and I will never forget

. R.S.


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