Thursday, June 16, 2016

Decisions - what we do...

What we do...

Decisions... life and death.

It’s Vietnam... 1960’s... war zone... enemy everywhere... known or unknown.
The American Army soldier was shaving when he saw three men in South Vietnamese Marine uniforms entering the camp.  The South Vietnamese had been working with his company.
 But in a lightning swift moment he noticed that besides their regulation uniforms they were wearing Japanese style boots and he shot and killed them.
Yes, the three soldiers were the enemy.  Their intent was “to destroy the communication center and destroy everybody in it.”
But the American soldier sweated it out for three days until the official verdict came that he had made the correct decision.
For his two tours of duty he has three Purple Hearts and three Bronze Star Medals for valor in Combat.
Back at home
Nowadays he has been living a quiet life in the rural Cannon Falls area.  He has a steady job and also keeps busy cutting wood to keep his home warm in the winter.  
It was on one of his wood-cutting expeditions that he came across another tragic experience.   
The old tree he cut down split open and inside was a nest of baby red squirrels.  The soldier finished cleaning up the area and putting his cut-up wood in his pickup.
The mother squirrel had left.  One baby squirrel had died.  What should he do with the remaining three babies?
Now keep in mind that squirrels are not the most popular critters in this area.  Too many people have had them destroy bird feeders or chew holes in their roofs and cause destruction.
In fact, some people hate squirrels.
In my mind, especially red squirrels.  
But the old soldier told me: “I didn’t want to leave them to die... their mother wouldn’t take them.”

So he did this

So he brought them home.
And bought a new cage for them... and a heating pad to keep them warm... and combined almond milk and half & half cream to feed them.  Later they got baby food and chopped up nuts.
They love walnuts, he explained.
He fed them every couple of hours.
Even got his wife to fill in when he went to work.
And they are thriving.

Three little red squirrels... perhaps one of the most hated varmints in the area.

But not by this soldier.
“They’re not dead.” he explained.

And someday he’ll set them free.  
He’s a good man.

(The soldier’s name was omitted because I thought his story represented others who have had similar conflicts.  And they are dealing with their own “red squirrels” every day.)