What does war do to a man? For several soldiers who survived the American combat in Vietnam, war changed them absolutely but not in the ways they could’ve ever expected.
While the Vietnam War waged for twenty years, the men who are now Vets with a Mission were irreparably changed by their service to their country. Through archival footage and the recounting of stories, these men explain what it was like to go to off seeking adventure a la Rudyard Kipling, only to watch friends fall in the midst of battle. Tortured and scarred by what they saw, several of these men refused to talk about combat, but all of them were clearly impacted.
And that’s where Kent Williamson’s documentary takes a strange turn.
Instead of being completely ripped apart by what they saw, these men, these Vets with a Mission, instead realized that they could draw each other together for a goal: to serve the people of Vietnam. But this service takes on several different ministries. First, the American soldiers sought out ways to be reconciled with Vietnamese soldiers, and second, they sought ways to improve the healthcare for the people in underserved areas of Vietnam. All of this is because they came to understood how they were called to feed the hungry or clothe the naked as they followed the leading of Jesus Christ.
While the Vietnam War is still one of the United States’ greatest tragedies, Vets with a Mission proves that triumph can come out of tragedy, that even those who have been hurt can choose how they will respond. With By War & By God, the audience is given several powerful testimonies about how the glory of God shines through the darkest times.
It’s hard not to ask yourself: are you sharing of your life and faith in a dramatic way? Are you making a difference by forgiving those who hurt you?
By War & By God is no average story. Instead, it’s the powerful way that God can change our hearts if we are passionately seeking Him. In fact, it’s a reminder that the good news of Jesus Christ can change the world.
Jacob Sahms, Contributing Writer