Tonight I have a story ....it was just after I saw that old woman, the "Angel" experience! ...we were "in the field"....We were on an operation in the Philippine Jungle.....our job was to provide communications for a grunt company......we were to take a valley and mountain side , secure it and hold till the reinforcements could arrive.....it was just a non combat operation...(practice) and we were there for a week (no showers) We all bathed in a creek and a pond in that valley area.
At night there were absolutely no lights allowed, no lighting cigarettes. or anything else. Absolutely No lights! We were all suppose to stay near our jeeps at all times when we were not on Guard duty or attending Radio surveillance. I was so on fire for the lord at this time and I remember that I was on Radio surveillance from 9 to midnight this particular night. Being extremely board. (no comms. were being transmitted throughout my whole watch.) I opened the door of my jeep to sit outside for a bit. I could still hear the radio, but I needed a break from the smell of living in my jeep for a week. It was a no cloud night and you could see the universe again...it was so beautiful........I just sat there in awe. Watching, dreaming.
Well, The hammock that I had acquired earlier in the day...
During the daylight hours of that same day, a comrade and I went down by the creek to wash up. (we had to travel in twos) When we ran into a couple of guys, Locals who were carrying a bunch of knives, blankets and other things that they were trying to sell. One of the guys had a hand made hammock. I had always wanted a hammock ever since I saw Robinson Caruso. when I was a little kid. (I know, way before your time.) so I bought it from the guy at an ungodly steal of a price. :-) I think it was a dollar. It was real nice too! hand made.
...came into my mind when I was sitting there under that camouflage tarp. The sky was so clear and bright, I could see the silhouette of the mountain side from the light of the stars. (that's how bright it was)
On top of the mountains to my east were 2 trees that looked so appealing to me. They stood out in the night. (like an inviting bit of shade on a very hot summer day) ... I had to do it...
They were PERFECT! Smoke poured from my ears that night as I planned my 4 hours of " un official off time" we were all on 4 on 4 offs....for radio watch and security watch, so I had 4 hours.....hmmmmmm.........that was plenty of time to slip away, Go up to that mountain top and set up my hammock......awwwwww......... this was an awesome plan! I was going to do it for sure. I could imagine the view from that spot, It was going to be great!
Welp, Radio watch was over. It was midnight. I grabbed my hammock snuck around the tents and slithered through the bushes. I was headed for the hills. The climb was not very difficult because I had the light from the stars and moon. They gave me plenty of light to go by. I reached the top in about 30 minutes. The trees were in the perfect spot right at the pinnacle of the mountain. I sat up the hammock and just laid there watching the stars. It was so beautiful. I just hummed songs of praise to the one who IS. (tried to stay quiet though...."operations!" ya know?)
I just laid there for over an hour and staired into space, the universe was so huge and bright, I could almost touch the stars with my hands. I saw the complete Milky-Way that night, it was Awe inspiring, the wonderful hand of God. Then after about an hour of praise and wonderment, I began to doze off. ZZZZZ! Maaan...I fell asleep!
When I awoke...a few hours later....
.....it was strange. I woke from a wonderful dream hearing voices in the far distance. I sat up and looked around I suddenly realized just where I was, then I heard the voices again...this time I wasn't dreaming. I looked down at my watch. omg! I was late for my post. I looked down the mountain side and I noticed tiny lights all over the area below. They had flashlights out and everyone was looking for something.
(lights, when there were suppose to be (NO LIGHTS) this wasn’t big, this was really big!
I listened attentively to what they were yelling, and sure enough, they were calling my name. Lcpl. Smiiiith? SMIIIIITH?
Ohhhh shit!...I was in big ass trouble.
I jumped up from that hammock...(I just left it there)......I flew down that mountain side like lightning. I swear I got down that mountain side in 10 minutes or less........its was so funny cause I came out of the brush by where some of the guys were looking and said “Hey! whats going on?”....like I didn't know what they were doing. they all came over to me. I was only 20 minutes late or so. (that's desertion to the company C.O. though) omg! He was so pissed. I was forced to go into his tent and stand a attention. (and that's not a good thing.) at four dark thirty in the morning. (not good) he made me stand there for another 20 minutes, I couldn't move a muscle. Finally he barked at me. "SMITH what the hell were you doing out there! We had the whole company out looking for you" I told Him that I was out praying but I didn't tell him about the hammock thingie (noo way!)
Everyone was up. My Co. Gunny and 1st. Sgt. were so pissed. The Company Commander after telling me that I may lose a stripe over this, He told me to get out of his sight and to go finish my watch. That he'd talk to me in the morning. So I went. I wasn't worried, (much) I was worshiping the Lord! I didn't care! God had it all under control. I knew that!
The next morning, the company C.O. called a formation. In the field.
Formation in the field? Never heard of! We all lined up in formation. Then He called me out to the front to stand at attention before him and all the company. As I went up to where he was, I glanced behind me out of the corner of my eye at the mountain where my hammock was.
Yep it was still there!
The sun was coming up and you could see it VERY clearly, Just hanging there! I stood at attention in front of him and all of them. He was looking in that exact direction "yelling". I don't remember a word that he said that day. All I could think of was that damn hammock hanging up there in broad daylight and if he had seen it, Id be dead for sure!..... :-)
The only thing that I do remember him saying in front of the whole Company, was that “Lcpl Smith would be loosing a stripe and may be more!” when he got to Garrison....(back to Okinawa).......
I was not worried for some reason. I gave it to the one who made me....and......man............when we got back to Garrison, you'll never believe what happened.
He. Our Company CO. was suddenly moved to another unit and I never heard another word about what had happened.....it was very strange.....God was my help. He was in control for sure.
That Hammock is still there for all I know.......if your ever in the Philippines and you see a hammock hanging between 2 trees, on the top of a mountain somewhere in middle of the jungle, Know that it was I! heheh.
That was a most beautiful night! Ill never forget it!
He was so Awesome that night to me!
your forever friend, Dave!