TRUE STORY: A few years ago, some San Francisco friends of mine were serving as volunteers in Freetown, Sierra Leone. They found the people and country to be wonderful and amazing. In conversation, they told me about one of their few dark experiences.

There was an uprising in the capital where they lived, Freetown. The city was thrown into chaos with the government troops being overrun by the “Rebels”. The house where my friends stayed with other volunteers from The UK and other countries lost electricity. The gunfire was coming closer, people were being executed everywhere. They were very afraid because there was no escape routes for them.

Then strangely, their phone rang out in the night (their phone had been out of service for hours). The caller said they were with the U.S. Military, told them to get ready to leave the house and stay away from the windows.

As the fighting spilled toward their neighborhood, they got really worried… This might be the end for them.

All of a sudden, they said light came from out of nowhere and it was bright like daytime at night. They heard helicopters and a loud voice in the local language command on loudspeakers, not ask, but command the fighters to leave the area or they would be utterly destroyed. The shooting immediately stopped.

U.S. Military picked them up, flew them all to a waiting aircraft carrier where they were fed, given shower facilities and provided phone access to call home.

They were obviously grateful beyond description…

>Here in the home loan business, we make it our business to get Veterans the best service possible. Occasionally , I have had a VA application that had credit or other problems. Normally I would interview the applicant before making a approve or decline decision since I am responsible.

I did that interview with a Veteran once in 1994. I don’t do the interviews as much since that one. I got a clearer understanding of how I feel about Vets in 1994.

In the 1994 interview, the Vet did not say much, I was leaning toward declining his loan application.

I went back and looked at part of his service record the “DD-214” and saw all the hell he had been through. I approved the loan- no more talk, get his family the home.


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