As a teenager, Sammy Keuhn kept dreaming that he was in a war and someone was advancing to shoot him. He would wake every time ... but the dream kept reoccurring, night after night.
The dreams finally stopped right before the war broke out. He didn't have that specific dream again, but now, he was off to fight in a real war, not knowing if he would be shot and killed, or come home maimed.
As Sammy was leaving for war, his mother said something like, "God put you here for a reason." She gave him a little Bible to carry with him and made him say the sinner's prayer:
Lord Jesus, I confess my sins and ask for Your forgiveness. Please come into my heart as my Lord and Savior. Take complete control of my life and help me to walk in Your footsteps daily by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You, Lord, for saving me and for answering my prayer. In Jesus's name. Amen.
Sammy said the prayer but did not realize what he was saying.
Sammy was in a planeload of 600 men flown into Vietnam at night. They had a 3-minute window to disembark because the aircraft had to take off again. They were under fire the entire time but were unarmed. Their weapons were waiting at their destination.
Six hundred men climbed into eight buses ... but only the first three buses made it to base. The enemy destroyed five buses, killing everyone aboard. Riding in the third bus, Sammy got to the base shaken but safe.
He was among the first American troops in Cambodia and one of the last ones out. Fighting was like nothing he had imagined. Vietnamese soldiers would pop out of underground tunnels, do their damage and then disappear again. God saved Sammy's life again and again, protecting him from harm.
One day, out on the battlefield, he was struck by the realization that this was the place from his dreams years before. He saw the enemy fighter from his nightmare coming directly at him, ready to kill him. He pulled the trigger on his weapon—and nothing happened. It was jammed. Sammy tossed his weapon aside, grabbed his friend's gun and shot the enemy dead. God had prepared him for that moment through his recurring nightmare. He just had to have the faith to trust God.
For a short time, the American public supported the war in Vietnam. President John F. Kennedy took a stand to support the government of South Vietnam and contain communism, just as President Dwight D. Eisenhower had done. The Vietnamese soldiers were armed by the Soviet Union and China. But by 1965, anti-war protests grew.
Members of armed forces who came home from World War II were treated like the heroes they were, but those returning from Korea were ignored and those returning from Vietnam were often treated with scorn.
God protected Sammy from many enemy attacks; during one battle, three mortars exploded around him, yet he was unharmed. Even so, he was wounded three times while serving in the Army. He eventually became a military adviser.
After returning home, Sammy suffered from sleep deprivation. When he did sleep, he had nightmares about battles he'd fought in the war.
Sammy became a police officer and suffered a leg injury in 1971 that required a metal rod implant. He developed blood poisoning and, to make matters worse, he was given the wrong blood type during a transfusion. Sammy had several silent heart attacks that dropped his heart function to 25%. This heart damage prevented any surgery when he went into liver failure and had a large stone in his gallbladder. He ended up with a pacemaker.
Sammy knew he was suffering from PTSD, but he felt that admitting this made a man look weak. This soldier-turned-policeman wouldn't seek help or even talk about his problems. While traveling, he had another heart attack but refused to get treatment.
During his wife's ordination to ministry at one of Joan Hunter's conferences in 2015, Joan prayed for Sammy, and the couple bought a "Miracles Happen! for Veterans" blanket.
Sammy's nightmares continued, but God spoke to him and he finally realized what was causing them. Sammy had kept photos of some of the enemy soldiers he had killed in the war. They were in his recurring dreams, and he still felt hatred for them.
God said, "How long are you going to hold on to that hate? Burn it." He finally did burn those photos, and the trauma went away. The nightmares ceased.
Sammy's heart function has improved to 45%, and he ministers to veterans and others, praying for them wherever he goes. God is using him mightily with veterans and everyone else who just needs a touch from God.
Some Prayers for Veterans
Father, I curse any kind of guilt, heaviness or fault that developed by seeing a friend get hurt, lose a limb or get killed. I lay that trauma and guilt on the altar. I release it all to You, including the memories of witnessing this event. Take all the bad memories from me. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Physical Disability as a Result of Serving:
Father, please forgive me for holding any unforgiveness toward the person who contributed to my pain and injury. I release any unforgiveness in Jesus' name. Fill me with Your love, joy and peace in Jesus's name. Father, guide me into Your perfect plan for my life. Lead me to others I can help by sharing Your love. Thank You for being my source for everything. I need to live for You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Joan Hunter is a compassionate minister, dynamic teacher, accomplished author, and anointed healing evangelist who has devoted her life to carrying a message of hope, deliverance, and healing to the nations. As founder and president of Joan Hunter Ministries, Hearts 4 Him, and 4 Corners Conference Center and president of Hunter Ministries, Joan has a vision to equip believers to take the healing power of God beyond the four walls of the church to the four corners of the earth. Visit whitakerhouse.com.
Excerpt from Miracles for Veterans: A Pathway to Healing for Veterans and Their Families, © 2020 by Joan Hunter, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.
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