The Answers Will Come
During the Vietnam War, my grandfather, Floyd Richardson, was enlisted as a pilot in the Air Force. He was primarily a bomber and had gone on several missions before he was asked to take part in one on March 3, 1967. His mission was to bomb a supply line of boats along a river in North Vietnam. It was 11 p.m. when he and his co-pilot were soaring above the jungles of southeastern Asia. Around that time, his plane was shot down and his body nor the wreckage were found. He was labeled Missing in Action.
My mother and my uncle were devastated and confused. And when I had first heard this story in 2001, so was I. I was naturally curious about my grandfather and his life because I had never met him before. I wanted an answer, I wanted to know the full story.
In the summer of 2005, my uncle and my cousin took a trip to Vietnam to view the area where the Air Force believed my grandfather’s plane would have crashed. They used a map to approach the general vicinity which was near a river. While they were there, they noticed an old, man riding a bicycle. He looked old enough to have been around at the time when my grandfather was shot down. They used a translator they had hired to ask him if he remembered a fighter jet shot down in 1967. The man had not only witnessed the plane crash, but he was also one of the four men who had pulled my grandfather out of the plane and had buried him. They had even used the wires from the plane to provide electricity for their village.
When I heard of the story from my uncle, I did not know what to think. What were the odds that this old man had pulled my grandfather out of the burning wreckage? And was still there in 2005 to answer my uncle’s question? Was it god or was it something else that put this old, man there? I didn’t care, the only thing that mattered was I received the answer I had wished for.
I believe that the answers in life will not remain hidden to me if I truly wish to know. The answers may not come at the most desired time, but similar to the answers of my grandfather‘s death, they will reveal themselves. With this thought in mind, I have to believe that I will never be as baffled or as perplexed as I was before I knew the complete story of my grandfather’s mission. I understand that I will lead a more laidback, peaceful life because of the serenity my belief has given me. A life that will be better in every way.