Healing and protection during wartime years

From age five until seventeen when I joined the Navy in WW II I never missed a Sunday of Sunday School.

While in the South Pacific on a ship I came down with a tropical infection and was slated to go a hospital at the earliest opportunity.  While in that condition I changed my thought about a shipmate who was different from the rest of us and was treated unkindly.  I realized that this was going along with a wrong concept of man.  I reached out to him with an offer of friendship.  We became close buddies.  And, there was no need to go to the hospital as I was healed.  After the war he came home before me.  He landed at my homeport and contacted my parents. 

Later during the Korean War I once again served, this time in the Air Force.   While in Morocco I served The Mother Church as an Armed Forces Christian Science Representative.   My wife and I held services and I had many opportunities to work with individuals needing Christian Science support. 

During the year I had an experience which was long in coming but gave me much needed mental release.  My father had been an alcoholic when I was a boy and caused our family much grief.  When my mother embraced Christian Science he finally and permanently overcame this addiction and our family became a harmonious one.  I came to realize this year that I had never forgiven him for those years of addiction.  I saw this as a weakness of character as this was how I had held him in my thought.  During the year, however, I read a book by Barbara Tuchman, “Guns of August.”  It described the experiences of the soldiers in the trenches.  My father had been one of them and was seriously wounded. 

Since then I feel we have understood better the effect on an individual who has endured such an experience.  I realized that my father’s addiction was undoubtedly a result of his participation in that war and not a weakness of character.  After reading the book, my heart went out to him and I felt a release from my long-held feeling of condemnation. 

The restoration of our home, I know, was a result of my mother’s embrace of Christian Science.