Joerie, joerie, botter en brood,
as ek jou kry, slaat ek jou dood

Thursday, September 4, 2014



Our brother with PTSD.
Denise Wronsley Barnard.
Thank you for your 'brave' post to this open-to-the-public site of a bunch of old soldiers who call ourselves Veterans.
I guess I'm the same age as your family member under discussion and served in the same war he served, with a difference. I did not cross the border into Angola 1975 like he did, our Unit deployed this side of the border in SWA.
I also did not go home after an cross border operation, I served for 31 years, then I went 'home'.
I lived in the Otavi Tsumeb area since 1967. I saw the thousands Portugeuse refugees fleeing from Angola, prior to the 1975 cross border operation. There was a refugee camp just on the outskirts of Tsumeb where one could go and meet with these poor souls.
It was not a happy sight to see. Families in deep distress. Utter helplessness and depending on the help from the SA and SWA governments and public to aid them to get back to Portugal or any place of safety.
Old wrinkled grandparents, strong healthy parents, wide eyed smiling children and helpless babies. All of them without homes, in the open, without proper protection. They had all that was left of their belongings loaded on different kinds of transportation. It was difficult to communicate with them due the language barrier. They could not explain their plight.
They were making decisions under fretful conditions. Selling everything, or just abandoning most of their belongings at the end.
The majority then moved in convoys on to Pretoria and left, back to Portugal. For some, it was back to their 'Fatherland', but most of the children were born in Angola.
Few decided to stay and make a new living in SWA. The parents start working on the mine or joined the SADF. Maybe 15 children went to school with my two brothers and my then future wife. They could not speak a word Afrikaans or English! They became friends. They survived.
The children are all grown up now with families of their own. One of them joined the SADF after school and, not so long ago, went to Portugal and united with her other family and lives there now. We, that's me and my wife, still are close friends and speak with each other on a daily basis on FB.
I tell you this little background story of what happened in Angola, before your family member went into Angola.
We can but just imagine what he saw inside Angola. It might have been far worse than what we experienced in Tsumeb.
He saw the aftermath of blood and death from which those poor Portuguese families escaped from with their lives.
I think his biggest inner fear as a helpful, caring medic, might be to express his utter helplessness to NOT be able to mend all the 'wounds' and the horror of remembering the ones he had to leave behind, that he could have helped, but were ordered to leave to die, because his priority was his fellow soldiers.
I liked what Peter Booth said in your post. Every human being has a separate unique nature and spirit. We are created like that and NOBODY can change another man's inner uniqueness.
God created all humans the same;
" And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
We are unaware of this living soul/spirit for most of our lives. Emotions of love, joy, grief, pride, greed, anger, hate, etc are accepted as if it's just granted and our right to express! We are just aware of 'life' most of the time, but not of 'spirit'.
Life takes many bumps, hurts and then eventually ends, dies.
Peter Booth touched on this just briefly by saying he found help in The Lord, long after he was hurt. Life can go on for a while at least again. That's good.
Spirit never dies, but It can also get bumps and hurt, but it can only be healed, by the Master.
When your spirit is hurt, like in your families' case, the One who gave us a living soul or spirit, is the only one who can heal that spirit. He's also the only one that knows what's going on in our individual minds.
Many of us Veterans found this inner spirit Healer early in life, through the teaching or example of our parents or grandparents, or in School or during battle on the border, or later in life.
Today I can tell you that this was my experience as a young boy in school. Others might tell you that it happened later in life. Maybe another one might tell you that's all just nonsense.
That does not matter. Life goes on. Like with those poor refugees or many of us who are still here. Until life is no more.
Spirit is Holy. like the fresh air in the early morning. It does not come from man, it comes from God. You either live with it or live unaware of it or live ignorant or past it. There's no time set when you might feel the Spirit's touch.
It does not matter who you are and where you live. If you stand on a hill in Winter and breath in the clean, crisp cold air of the morning, your spirit feels good. If you stand in your garden in a hot Summer clear day and breath in the freshness of the air, your spirit feels good. To see and feel the Masters hand is like ointment to a wound.
I can just recommend that your family member and other similar brothers on this site, be exposed to this Holiness that comes from Heaven for healing. It's NEVER too late, as long as there's life.
Our old family soldier relative and brother, ain't cheap. Don't auction a costly life for nothing. It was not just FOR WHAT? Thousands and thousands were saved through these men's sacrifices. We all need a little help from above sometime.
A Poem
The Old Violin.
'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.
- by Myra Brooks Welch
In diepe deernis opgedra aan al die 'seer' ou Veterane. Dries Ferreira. 4 September 2014.

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