Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sam  Charlie and Wayne  were all kids  who probably weren’t headed to college…(indeed, many of my football teammates at Putnam City High became the Fire Department for Warr Acres, the neighborhood where Putnam City High School is located in Oklahoma City.  The military (Marines in their case) was a real option for a career…or at least a financial boost that would get them to a good job someday…..Our team went to the state finals where we lost….5 guys all joined the Marines the following week….They immediately went to boot camp at Parris Island, the main Marine training facility for Viet Nam because they could reproduce the jungle conditions best at P.I…..12 weeks of training had them heading to Viet Nam by late March….two of them, Charlie and Sam, were in the same platoon…caught in a fire fight, they were killed with in days of each other….Wayne was in another platoon and as he was fearless in football, it wasn’t surprising that he was, as I was told, in a scouting position….he lost an arm and a leg in a Viet Nam style “roadside bomb” (much different then) and when he returned home, he took his own life just weeks after graduation……It was 41 years ago…it was 1968…the same spring that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were killed …."Pro-war" was synonymous with "Good Christian" at that time,  but listening to the music and the speeches and doing some reading began to turn it for me….Nobody helped me question that association with faith until much, much later. 

Listen to Dr. Paynter's sermon from May 24, 2009, at


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