Archive for April, 2011

Vidalia Onions

I never really liked onions, nor did I ever really think about them, until one long summer day in the highlands of a land far away on the ragged edge of nowhere. We had been flying all day from one post to another on what we lovingly called Ash and Trash Missions. We were hauling brass around, picking up supplies, delivering imagery film, mail and such. These missions can be fun if the stops included some of the larger bases, and you got a chance to go to the PX, but this day it was just small outpost and it had been a long day and the crew had not eaten since before daylight. I normally threw in a case of C Rations before the flight, but for some reason didn’t on this day.

 So we were already hungry, when we got a call to pick up a Special Forces A Team Squad that was coming out of the woods near their camp, to save them from having to come in after dark. The pick up point was a small recently abandoned Montagnard Village. I no longer remember what had happen to the people, but I’m sure they were relocated for safety reasons. The Montagnards were the hill tribesmen, and were thought to be savages by both the North and South Vietnamese. However, they were able warriors and very loyal to the American Special Forces. My most valuable mementos from that time in my life are two bracelets that were given to me by a tribesman.

We flew over the LZ a couple of times until the team popped smoke, and we landed in a clearing on what was an old garden. We could tell that some kind of plant was still growing, and while we sat there, with rotor blades turning, waiting for the team to cross the clearing, the co-pilot, (WO2 Cy Nolan), told me to see what was planted. It turned out to be onions, of which I pulled up a few and put them in the helicopter. The A Team consisted of two Americans and 4 Montagnards, and one of the Montagnards peeled one of the onions and cut it into slices then passed them around. Now, like I said I didn’t like onions, but I was hungry and decided to taste it. Not bad and sweet! I had never tasted an onion that was sweet.

As it turns out, there was an American, who was a medic to the village before it was abandoned, and had asked his mother back in Georgia to send him some Vidalia Onion Plants. This soldier then helped the villagers plant them in the village garden. I guess there was something in the soil that was similar to what is in the counties in Georgia that gave it the sweetness. The irony here is that myself being a Georgia Boy, had never tasted a Vidalia Onion before, had to go half way around the world to do so.

Now I’m an onion lover.

Love them sautéed.

On a big juicy hamburger! Oh My.

Have a blessed day…

Note: Cy is gone now, having fought in two wars, the first as a P-38 pilot in WWII, where he was shot down and captured and later escaped. He came back into the Army just to go to Viet Nam at the age of 42.




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They’re going to need a bigger barn!

John was in his element when he got up to sing, but when Timmy called him back up to speak, he was out of his comfort zone. However, that did not stop him. His challenge, “We men need to do better about building relationships, with our wives, our children, grandkids, and neighbors,” certainly resonates with me. I need to do better.

 John sang; “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

It was 2nd Tuesday night again and men from any and everywhere were invited to Ray’s Barn for a steak supper, and good old gospel music, topped off with John speaking from his heart about what men should be about.

I can’t explain it. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life time. How an idea born out of two friends just wanting to do something else, can attract 100 men in our small rural area to come to a barn and meet up with Jesus, is just what John said it was. “AWESOME!” Did I say men? 17 year old CJ sang “Jesus paid it all,” with his friends, 16 year old Jason and 14 year old Pregan accompanying him on the guitars. But, how did this happen? Is this a God thing? I think so. Will it last? I hope so. Will it attract more unsaved men and boys? Well, I guess that’s up to us. Will it make a difference in our lives? It’s bound too. It kind of reminds me of the “Great Awakening,” from the 1700’s when our country had a profound sense of conviction and redemption and revival broke out over the land. In a world gone mad, we sure could use another “Awakening.” I do however, understand one thing though. It will be up to real men used by God to bring it about.

I hear our women talk about women’s retreat, and I thank God for the women. They are doing something to reach and minister to women at those retreats. But Bless God, men ought to do something else! We don’t need to retreat! We need to get on the bugle and go Tat, tat, tat, tat, CHARGE!

Burning the Koran is not the answer, this world is not user friendly as it is without giving Satan another platform, because even though he knows the outcome, he ain’t scared to fight. No, its like John said, we need to build relationships one person at a time. How easier is it than saying, “Hey Joe, I’m going to a steak supper Tuesday night, how about going with me?” 

 “Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

Good job John!

Hey Timmy, snatch another one out of his comfort zone…


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