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A couple of months back I received a call from the community Library in Adrian Missouri. I was invited to do a book signing with several men who had written books who had lived in Adrian. Of course I said yes with a chance to go back and see some of my old friends I had not seen in years.

When we arrived we found the old down town area revitalized and it looked great. I had heard about it from my good friend Mark Lovelace one of the city alderman. They were having an official opening ceremony with many events, one of which was our book signing. Arlan Vaughn had written a book about his travels on the Missouri river and the history of the river. My book is about mission adventures to Africa. Don Arndt had written a book called “See the Dragon” “one Wolfhound’s Vietnam Story”

I first meet Don in the mid 1970 while stocking shelves at Yoss Thriftway. Don’s mother Alma worked at Yoss’s and She was at the top of my good list. Not because She made the best Cinnamon rolls in the state of Missouri, though that helped. She was the best example of a grandmother I knew of other than my own. She took me under Her wing and I will never forget Her. Don would come into the store for something and catch His mother’s eye. I always knew She was proud of Him I just thought it was because He had built a successful business selling and repairing TV’s and appliances and introduced cable TV to Adrian. Only as Don began to speak about His book did I understand the depths of Her pride.

I had the privilege of reading Don’s Book and highly recommend it. Don writes from a humble point to the reader, His grandchildren and we the readers get to listen in. That my friend is powerful. For me it took me back to the late 1960’s as we would watch the evening news as my mother watched with one hand over mouth. Her brother Ronald Holmes flew a helicopter in Vietnam and many times I could hear Mom praying for Him in Her room. For years it was our daily reminder that we were at war.

My experience about men who came home from that war was don’t ask questions. I knew they had been spit on and rejected by many Americans who had been caught up in the flower power 70’s thing. For me it was sickening, these men were not much more than boys that had been drafted into an unpopular war. May everyone of them hear “Welcome Home” I pray that God himself will lift the pain and rejection these Hero’s suffered by the ugly actions of those they served. Ok enough of my soapbox on to Don.

Don describes Himself not as a Hero but one who served along side Hero’s. I say this, a real Hero is called one by others and sees oneself as a shadow in the company of greatness. I find Don a Hero for exposing His heart to the world. I found the book refreshing seeing how the hard conditions of Don’s childhood prepared him for War. He had Hope instilled in Him and though shaken, it remained and served as a compass keeping Him going in the right direction.

The bottom line is this this book unlocks the wounded heart that has been shut by war. After our signing Don and I exchanged book’s and wrote a little note to each other. After Don’s note He looked up at me and said “John, can I write my favorite bible verse for you”, I said “Yes Don Yes by all means” 

Here it is James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Don has Joy after all He has suffered, His faith has been tryed and has more patience than any doctor I’ve seen. pun intended.  You can purchase a hardback copy at  http://www.lulu.com/content/1090935 . Don has a web page check it out at http://www.seethedragon.com/

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