Nowhere Else to Go

Dave Galloway told of a soldier who had just returned from Viet Nam. His parents were socialites, very well-to-do. It was near Christmas, and they were getting ready to go out to the first of the round of parties of the Christmas season.

Just then the phone rang, and it was their son on the phone. “Mom,” he said, “I’m back in the States.”

She said, “That’s wonderful! Where are you? Will you be home for Christmas? Can you get here in time for the parties? Everybody will just love to see you.”

He answered, “Yes, I can be home for Christmas, but I want to ask you something first.”

“What is it?” she asked.

“Well, I have a friend with me from Viet Nam. Can he come?”

“Oh, of course,” she answered. “Bring him along. He’ll enjoy the parties, too.”

“Wait a moment, Mom,” he said, “I need to explain something about him. He was terribly wounded, and lost both legs and one arm. His face is disfigured, too.”

There was silence on the phone for awhile. Then the mother said, “That’s all right. Bring him home for a few days.”

“No, mom, you don’t understand. He has nowhere to live. He has no one else. I want to bring him home and to let our home be his home.”

The mother was quiet again. Then she said, “Son, that just wouldn’t do. What you’re asking would be very unfair to us. Why, it would disrupt all our lives. I’m sure there are government agencies that would be more than glad to take charge of him. Look, just you hurry home for Christmas now, and then maybe you can visit him once in a while. Darling, I’m sorry, but we’ve got to rush or we’ll be late for the party. Call us again as soon as you know when you’ll be home. Goodbye.”

When the parents returned home from the party that night, there was an urgent message from the California police asking them to call. They telephoned, and the officer said, “I’m very sorry to have to call you, but we just found a young soldier dead in a motel room. His face is disfigured, and he has lost both legs and one arm. From the documents on him it would appear that he is your son.”

Contributed by: Melvin Newland

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