Midi Sequence by permission John Sankey, at http://www.sankey.ws/harpsichord.html
The photos below are squad mascots from the time of the Korean War, taken in the year that my small group of Marines (who, after the cease-fire, had been stationed as a Marine detachment at the Yong Dong Po air base) were given short-notice orders to return to the U.S. aboard a Military Air Transport Service (MATS) plane. Two people opted out of this arrangement. My friend from boot camp days in 1952: John Edward Peck ( who later on in civilian life became a Church of the Nazarene traveling evangelist, was afraid of flying and asked to be sent back by troop ship) and myself. I stayed behind to find homes for our mascots, below, and would follow on a later flight. (Koreans eat dogs, and I was fairly certain what their fate would be if I didn't do this. Our top sergeant agreed with me and accordingly cut separate travel orders.)
The group's plane was headed toward San Francisco, but had to turn back to Hawaii because of bad weather and hit a mountain top on the landing approach. All were killed. That was forty five years ago and it's still difficult to think about it or to write it down. Many years later John Edward looked me up in California and said that at the time he felt that he had been spared by God for a special purpose, and he became a minister. I must say that he became an energetic and a passionate one.
However, I did not feel that I had been "spared" for any particular reason. Indeed, I knew that of the group, John and I, rascals each for our own particular reasons, were two of the least qualified to survive. (I know that John, who felt an affinity for another traveling evangelist, the Apostle Paul, would concur.) Like Job, I, upstart, placed God in the docket of my mind and heart upon this matter, acting as amicus curiae for those who died. Unlike the prophet, I have seen no resolution, as well befits a man who was and is, after all, a rascal and an upstart.
Having said all this, I do enjoy the photos of the two dogs. You can see I had to get down to their level, to prostrate myself upon the tarmacs, to get these shots. By the way, I did find homes for both of them, with a U.S. Air Force detachment at the same air base.
Formerly Sergeant Walter Rufus Eagles, USMC