Sunday, April 18, 2010

Drunk War Veterans, Little Nieces, and the Gospel

I have just finished historian and author Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, which the story of the 101st’s Easy company that jumped into Normandy on D-Day and then over the next year moved eastward towards Germany. They fought and held the important city of Bastogne in the winter of 1944, during Germany’s last great effort to win the war. It is a fascinating read, as most of Ambrose’s works are.

At the end, Ambrose concludes by a “where are they now” chapter following some of the survivors in their post-war lives. One story of particular interest is the story of Sgt. Skinny Sisk.

Sgt. Skinny Sisk also had a hard time shaking his war memories. In July 1991, he wrote Winters to explain. “My career after the war was trying to drink away the truckload of Krauts that I stopped in Holland and the die-hard Nazi that I went up into the Bavarian Alp and killed [after the war was over]. Old Moe Alley made a statement that all the killings I did was going to jump into the bed with me one of these days and they surely did. I had a lot of flash backs after the war and I started drinking. Ha! Ha!”

“Then my sister’s little daughter, four-years-old, came into my bedroom (I was too unbearable to the rest of the family, either hung over or drunk) and she told me that Jesus loved me and she loved me and if I would repent God would forgive me for all the men I kept trying to kill all over again.

“That little girl got to me. I put her out of my room, told her to go to her Mommy. There and then I bowed my head on my Mother’s old feather bed and repented and God forgave me for the war and all the other bad things I had done down through the years. I was ordained in the latter part of 1949 into the ministry and believe me, Dick, I haven’t whipped by one man since and he needed it. I have four children, nine-grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

“The Lord willing and Jesus tarrys [sic] I hope to see you all at the next reunion. If not I’ll see you at the last jump. I know you won’t freeze in the door."

A little four-year old, armed with the love of Jesus in the gospel and the willingness to speak up, brought a tough war veteran who had seen unthinkable things to his knees.

I love the story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a great post Larry, thanks. Skip