Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm really not in the habit of blogging twice in the same day, but after completing the above book, "Scars & Stripes" by Eugene B. McDaniel Capt. USN (Ret), I had to make an exception.

I was at my dad's over the weekend and asked him if he had anything worth reading. For some reason I love to read these days. Never enjoyed it all through school or college, but now, I can't seem to stop.

He (my dad) said he had a book on his desk that my aunt had given to him, but he hadn't got around to reading. So I said I'd take it.

I am so thankful I did.

I'm not so good at summarizing or writing a book review, so I've borrowed an account:

"The story of Eugene "Red" McDaniel is not only about a prisoner of war in Vietnam, it is the story of a hero who defied the odds and overcame extreme adversity.

Eugene McDaniel was shot down in 1967 and spent 5 years in captivity in North Vietnam's Hanoi Hilton, Zoo, and Zoo Annex prison compounds. While imprisoned, he made very aggressive strides to keep secret communications going between the prisoners even though such communicating was prohibited. In continued defiance of his captors, he paid a dear price.

McDaniel had the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most viciously tortured prisoners of the Vietnam war. Methods used on him were sadistic and barbaric and leaves you wondering how his jailors could possible treat another human being in this manner.

In the most trying of times, when all hope was lost and despair was complete, McDaniel turned to faith and prayer in God and was lifted up from the depths he was in. McDaniel was a constant source of optimism and strength for his fellow prisoners during confinement.

This book, outstanding in its message of courage, perseverance, and inspiration, will leave you knowing that no matter how difficult things can become, faith in God will always see you through.

A magnificent book from start to finish and definitely recommended to everyone."

The unspeakable torture that was heaped upon Red McDaniel was summarized this way in his own words:

"Whatever honor I had carried into Vietnam, then, as an American, a military man, the achievements of my past life were nothing compared to what I now sensed in what He had give to me of His character, His knowledge. I had been broken in that prison, brought to the very end of myself, allowed to suffer so I might know how to help those who would suffer around me. I had gone to Vietnam a respected churchman who had a healthy, ideal family-- but had not the inner capacity, in God or anyone else, to minister genuinely to the suffering of another person. For some reason, known only to the Lord, I had been chosen of Him to be that instrument for Him, and what I had gone through would bring a new sensitivity to the needs of others and perhaps an example of the goodness of God to them. Through my suffering, others could see proof that He would keep them in their hour of darkness as well."

I encourage all to read this book, "Scars & Stripes."

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