IANDS meeting for Friday, September 25th, 2015

We are pleased to announce our speaker for our September 25th IANDS meeting will be David Herard. David Herard had a difficult childhood, which left him more intense, harsh and angry than most. David often took out his frustrations and anger during his two tours of duty in Vietnam. As a soldier, anger and intensity were valued.
David was injured in his first tour of duty when three hand-grenades exploded in his group of Marines. Two others were killed. David was seriously injured and was evacuated to a hospital in Okinawa, Japan. David wanted to return to Vietnam, so he waived his rights for a one-year tour of duty in the states.
David arrived back in Vietnam in February 1968, just after the beginning of the Tet offensive a month earlier. Fire fights were frequent and intense. During the Ted offensive, American units were suffering 50-60% casualties.
In the last week of June 1968, David was on Hill 881-North, near Khe Sanh, as part of a 250 man unit, which had lost 30% of their men. Just before Hill 881-North was over-run by the North Vietnam Army, on July 6th they were evacuated to Hill 681, about five miles away. That same night, they came under heavy fire. It turned into face-to-face fighting. In the morning, everyone who survived was running low on ammo. Everyone said it was time to stock up on more ammo, but being so tired from the intense all night fighting, no one wanted to go to the ammo dump.
David got angry at this and decided to get the ammo himself. He ran nine or ten trips to the ammo dump, each time bringing back as much ammo as he could carry. On David’s last trip, an enemy 122mm rocket landed about 20 feet behind him. When it exploded, the intense force threw David into the air and down the hill a considerable distance. Despite massive injuries, somehow David got up and ran back to his fellow-soldiers and cover. He had severe wounds in both feet, both legs, both cheeks, both arms, both hands, the back of his neck and small of his back. The medic didn’t give him morphine because he said “it would just leak out.”
Hearing the medic describe his wounds, David was sure he was going to die because he had seen many soldiers with fewer wounds not survive. Then David started to feel so very tired, sleepy, and completely exhausted.
He saw a light, distant and small at first, but continually brighter until it was seemed blinding in its intensity, but it didn’t hurt his eyes. Drawn into the light, David saw a beautiful river, and on the other side a number of people dressed in exquisite robes, waiving at him, gesturing David to come across the river to join them. Just as he decided to cross over, David felt a hand on his shoulder and heard a voice say, “No, it’s not your time, go back!”
David felt great love during his near-death experience, which changed the very essence of who he was from harsh and intense to caring and loving.
Especially in times of difficulty, David looks back on his near-death experience to put the difficulties of life in perspective and help him make decisions. His oldest daughter’s husband served in Iraq. David’s near death experience helped him reassure her in times of worry.
The September 25th IANDS meeting will begin at 7PM in the Salt Lake County Commission hearing Room in the north building of the County Government Center located at 2001 South State, SLC. We meet the fourth Friday of each month except December. Bring a friend as meetings are free of charge.

About IANDS Utah

The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) is devoted exclusively to providing information about near-death and related experiences to experiencers, researchers, educators, health care providers, and the interested public. IANDS Utah has a three-fold purpose: (1) To facilitate and foster greater acceptance and understanding of near-death experiences; (2) To advance, encourage and promote research and study of near-death experiences; (3) To provide information, guidance, comfort, care and other assistance to those concerned with terminal illness, death, disability, disease and related issues.
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