Larkin Spivey Finding Faith In War

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Fathers Day

The following is a story from Stories of Faith and Courage from the Vietnam War, November 6. Happy Father's Day!
Chad Daugherty was born March 9, 1968. On May 9, 1968 his father was killed in Vietnam. He not only grew up without his father, he grew up with practically no information about him. His mother, in anguish, threw out all the photos and other reminders of the man she would not see again. She also remarried while Chad was very young, and so his father was rarely mentioned in the household. Nevertheless, he was frequently haunted by fantasies of his father returning. He would think of all the things they would do together, but then realize all the problems this would cause his mother.

            At age seventeen, Daugherty went to the Vietnam Memorial to find his father. After going through the search process, he finally stood before panel fifty-seven, looking at the name he sought. His fingers brushed over the letters. He later wrote a composition, describing himself in the third person and his feelings at that moment:

From his heart rose a feeling he just could not explain. It only seemed to occur at that place while gazing at the name and dark reflections in the wall. The feeling seemed to torture the heart. Contrasting emotions of love and hate; happiness and sorrow; pride and shame were all felt at once. Why did he put himself to this torture, he wondered? There was no reason to come. No one made him come. Yet he came willingly.

            The wall became the place where Chad Daugherty resolved the conflicting emotions of his childhood. He talked to his father. He shared all his accomplishments and dreams for the future. He told him how much he loved him. He left a letter saying, “Dear father, you shall always be remembered. Your loving son.”

            There are probably very few men who do not have conflicting emotions about their fathers. They are fortunate if their fathers are still living, and they still have opportunities to resolve these feelings directly. Many of us unfortunately don’t have that option. We need a wall of our own to go to where we can acknowledge the man who was probably the best father that he was capable of being and the one that our heavenly Father meant us to have. Whatever his faults, he helped make us what we are. Whether talking to the man or to a wall, the best place to start is, “I love you, Dad.”

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. ~Exodus 20:12



No comments:

Post a Comment