Sky Pilot


Sky Pilot

(A member of the clergy, especially a chaplain of the armed forces)

How many of you actually knew what a sky pilot was?  To me, the words sky pilot brought to mind that 1968 hit by Eric Burden & the Animals.   I guess I never paid attention to the words because they were just words without meaning to a young 14 year old boy.  Well that boy is now a 59 year-old man, and those 2 lofty words have divine meaning, as do the lyrics of the entire song.

Now that I know what a sky pilot is that song has a more significant, and deep meaning for the times.  It was the height of the Vietnam War.  Today as we celebrate anybody who wears a uniform and consider them all hero’s, I think back to how terrible Vietnam Vets were treated when they returned home, some were even spat on! Peace not war, man.

Here are the lyrics to that song, and even without the music, the message is powerful.  Leave your comments and say what you feel, thanks.

He blesses the boys as they stand in line                                                             photos vietnam war photo 12
The smell of gun grease
and the bayonets they shine
He’s there to help them all that he can
To make them feel wanted he’s a good holy man
Sky pilot,
Sky pilot,
How high can you fly?
You’ll never, never, never reach the sky.

He smiles at the young soldiers
Tells them it’s all right
He knows of their fear in the forthcoming fight
Soon there’ll be blood and many will die
Mothers and fathers back home they will cry
Sky pilot,
Sky pilot,
How high can you fly?
You’ll never, never, never reach the sky.

He mumbles a prayer and it ends with a smile
The order is given
They move down the line
But he’ll stay behind and he’ll meditate
But it won’t stop the bleeding or ease the hate

As the young men move out into the battle zone                                                                                http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2010/04/30/captured-a-look-back-at-the-vietnam-war-on-the-35th-anniversary-of-the-fall-of-saigon/1781/
He feels good, with God you’re never alone
He feels tired and he lays on his bed
Hopes the men will find courage
in the words that he said
Sky pilot,
Sky pilot,
How high can you fly?
You’ll never, never, never reach the sky.

You’re soldiers of God, you must understand
The fate of your country is in your young hands
May God give you strength
Do your job real well
If it all was worth it
Only time it will tell

In the morning they return
With tears in their eyes
The stench of death drifts up to the skies
A soldier so ill looks at the sky pilot
Remembers the words
“Thou shalt not kill.”
Sky pilot,
Sky pilot,
How high can you fly?
You’ll never, never, never reach the sky.”

 

 

napalm girl photo vietnam war turns 40

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

One comment

  • As I looked through the photos of the Vietnam War, I felt disgust and a loathing for lamenting about my car accident. It was a terrible accident don’t get me wrong, but when I looked what the people of Vietnam (men, women and children) had to endure it really set the perspective straight. And, the American soldier to be treated so badly as most were by their own countrymen was totally reprehensible and full of disgrace, peace brother, peace sister…

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