Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guest Post - Doug Lucas

Each of us has hidden parts of ourselves that we seldom share with even the ones we love the most. Those karmic pieces we rarely discuss, but are a very real part of what makes us who we are and what we become in our lives. Elijah B. Connors is no exception, but he is an enigma.

He went from an angry young child, to a Marine serving in Vietnam. Then became the pastor of a small church…all knew some of Eli, but none knew all. He is a very private man who wanted to serve his God and community.

When Eli finds out he's dying, he comes to understand he has hidden a large part of himself from everyone he loves. Over the years he'd refused to tell the ugly parts of his life, which made him the man he became. In an effort to answer the some of those questions, he writes a book.

Eli does the one thing he would never do before, he tells war stories. Eli tries to answer some of the questions he'd greeted with silence. In so doing he shares a special time and memories he'd hidden in his heart. Eli shows his family a small glimpse of the joys and sorrows he'd never spoken of before.

Eli was a Marine and proud of his service to his country. He's a man who loved his family deeply, but mostly he is an enigma understandable only by reading the book

From the book you will be given a glimpse into the lives of your grandfathers, uncles and fathers who served in Vietnam. Eli will tell you about where they lived, the people and the battles they fought. He'll tell you how he felt about those battles you have never heard spoken of before. You'll be given a chance to learn what life was like in a CAP unit. You'll be introduced to the struggles of an orphanage and learn about the children who filled it. Eli tells war stories you thought you knew and tells you about a side of war you've never dreamed of.

The Children of Hoa Cam Hue

Hoa Cam Hue was as old and timeless as the very land it stood on.
Loving hands of Buddhist Monks had given it birth.
Its earthen floors were packed to a shining hardness by the passage of time
and bare feet, which had polished away the newness.
Those painted columns and carved inlays lost clarity and took on the comfort of age
which whispers of peace and the gifts of tranquility and love.
Time flowed and ebbed around this forgotten place at a steady gentle pace,
undisturbed by the destruction wars had left by its boundaries.
This oasis of tranquility was not to be destroyed by the passage of time;
time made it all but forgotten, a deserted secret oasis of grace.
Wars came and time went, Hoa Cam Hue remained unchanged, and then a new war
brought the priest and nuns and new life to its broken, forgotten walls.
They gathered the unloved and discarded children of war and the discarded and unloved
came home to the peace and safety of the forgotten.
Time and wars ebbed and flowed around the unloved at the forgotten.
War sent young warriors both damned and cursed by their senders.
The discarded found love with the damned and cursed at the forgotten.
The damned and cursed found purpose with the unloved and discarded.
They were never far from the unloved and discarded at the forgotten, fearful of war.
War came like a thief in the night, stealing that which should never be stolen.
War stormed the forgotten, destroying the gifts of love and tranquility which age left.
The damned bleed and died in vain for the unloved and the forgotten.
Those who sent the damned and cursed neither knew, nor cared about the forgotten
They had their love, they had peace, and they felt caring was enough.
At the throne of God on judgment day I know we all shall stand, I pray that God will allow
me to rejoin the damned and cursed and all of our unloved again.
As for the senders, I hope they can convince God of their shared love and that they cared.
parts of their lives together.

Eli explains what happened to him after Vietnam and how he began his journey to a small church in the very town he grew up in.

Want to know what a CAP unit is…read my book. Want to understand the poem I leave you with…read my book. By doing so, you will learn war is always about death…but more importantly about life.

Now available on Amazon:

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