by Bob Dees
What did this process of bouncing back…look like for Allen Clark, Vietnam Veteran, successful banker, distinguished leader in the Department of Veterans Affairs, founder of the Combat Faith ministry to veterans, and author of Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior, a personal story of a Vietnam Veteran who lost his legs, but found his soul?…a few snapshots of Allen experienced inexplicable loss in his life: the loss of his two legs, and the shattering of dreams for the future.
Allen did manage a brave and optimistic spin in his initial letter home to his Dad (a distinguished veteran himself)
“As it stands now, my left leg has been amputated just below the knee, and it’s questionable at the present to me about the right one. I will probably require more surgery in the States. It may be as long as eight or nine months before I’ll be out of the hospital. As far as I’m concerned, everything will be the same in the future. The only difference is that I’ll have to be fitted with prosthesis.”
(Allen’s Letter to his Dad on June 18, 1967,
the day after his wounds, page 19, Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior)
Benefiting from forty years of life experience after enduring the many surgeries, the emotional trauma, the fourteen week commitment to the closed psychiatric ward of Brooke Army Hospital, and the significant life impacts (both obstacles and opportunities); Allen states the reality later in his book, page 30: “The events of June 17, 1967, resulted in monumental changes to my life.” But, because of faith, family, and friends (such as spiritual mentors Andy and Gail Seidel, and so many others), the monumental changes had become catalysts for a powerful life transformation.
In his own words, Allen stated to me that “the resiliency after six years of psychiatrist appointments and anti-depressants occurred when Jesus, who had been Savior of my life, also became Lord because I began to understand prayer and the spiritual warfare battle in which I had been engaged for six years.” In the words of 2 Corinthians 4: 8,9; Allen Clark had certainly been afflicted, perplexed, and struck down, but because of his personal faith in Christ he was not crushed, despairing, forsaken, or destroyed. In God’s Providence and Provision, Allen was able to grow as a resilient warrior, to truly rebound, and higher than ever before.
The Honorable Allen B. Clark continues to model Resilience God Style for the rest of us. He has just published his third book entitled Soldiers’ Blood and Bloodied Money (2019), and helps other veterans through his Youtube CombatFaithChannel and www.combatfaith.com website. He remains a great inspiration to many and an important standard bearer for God and Nation. His email byline is a clear call for America to return to our essential spiritual foundations: “Apart from faith in God and obedience to Him, there is no ultimate security, might or power to sustain a great culture, civilization, or military supremacy, however advanced they may be.”
What a privilege to observe a man who has suffered greatly, who could have easily ended his own life many decades ago, who could have become just another statistic — YET who Jesus transformed to be a resilient inspiration to many. May God Bless You, Allen Clark… and the many others who have also been able to bounce higher than ever before, higher than you could ever dream possible.
May this be true for each of us — Resilience God Style!