A Second’s Fraction in the Life of a Thai Marine Corps Officer

Story of a miraculous car-bomb survival of a Thai Marine Corps Officer

(32th Narathiwat Special Forces Unit)

 

Compiled by Vachiravan Vanlaeiad

 

          My name is Petty Officer First Class Charaspong Piriyathorn, having served under Fifth Infantry Battalion, Second Infantry Regiment, Marine Division, Royal Thai Marine Corps, Royal Thai Navy. I want to share my life experiences and survival incidences during my military mission in Narathiwat Province during the end of 2010. You must wonder whether at that time I had any good and sacred Buddha images or amulets or charms that had some great power to save me. Yes, I have ONE that has saved me from innumerable injuries and deaths until now. First of all, I must share with you shortly about my life since childhood in order for you to know me more.

            I was born into a loving family so I had been utterly bestowed with love and kindness by my parents, my relatives, and my siblings. My parents so loved and cared for us their children that they had acquired various sizes of Buddha images in great numbers from many renowned Buddhist temples throughout the country. The big-sized images were brought to be placed on big altars in a room in our house and the small ones were framed and attached to our necklaces. A worship room was set aside to particularly keep these images and amulets and charms. Therefore I had been growing up with these things and felt my life very secure indeed.

           Despite having felt greatly saved from dangers, however, in the depths of my heart I had been constantly feeling there’s a hollow hole in it. And the hole was so wide and deep that all the images and amulets both in my house and on my necklace could not fill it. All along the questions about my life purpose on earth had been occurring. For ex, For whom would I live my life on this planet earth? I had also been apprehensive and curious about karma and the matters of doing good and evil. Plainly speaking, I had been very careful in leading my life. However, ordinary people have sometimes done bad things, both intentionally and unintentionally. So when I did bad things, they had very much undermined my feeling of peace and security despite having worshiped and prayed so hard to various Buddha images.

           Until the days I was going to finish grade 12, I had realized why I had been born into this world and what missions I had to carry out while I was alive. But the most important revelation or enlightenment is that I knew “Who” had sent me to earth to complete my assigned missions.

           Prior to my self-realization and enlightenment, my mother and younger sister had converted to Christianity. They had started to worship God and opened their hearts to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Because I had constantly sought the reasons behind being born a human, I thus opened my heart too to get to know this God of Christianity. However, after a long period of careful consideration and examination, I myself had also accepted Jesus into my heart. Arriving at this grave decision, I had realized that for nearly twenty years since I was born, Jesus was the perfect answer and He had also filled my hollow heart full of questions about life. But it took long periods of time to learn to know this God more deeply. Until one day our family had made the most important decision in life to give up all our Buddha images and amulets and charms. And then we had vowed to worship only one true God: Jesus Christ, all the rest of our lives. I had also realized that worshiping this God had enabled me to practice the 5 Buddhist precepts more easily than when I was Buddhist. Especially in the matter of love and forgiveness extended to our fellow human beings (including our enemies whom I was going to confront during my military services in the 3 southern border provinces of Thailand.

           Now you have known a bit about me and already known about my “God” who had saved me from various dangers caused by bullets and bombs during my military missions in Narathiwat Province. I will tell you more about my military life and training.

           Since childhood, I had been dreaming of being a soldier, wanting to serve my native land. And since I had been converted to Christianity, I had prayed so hard for God to lead me in the path of my dream career. Finally, God had granted my childhood dream. I had passed the entrance exam to be a student in the Naval Rating School (even though I’d failed the entrance exam in the AFAPS or Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School). However, God had used this school to train and discipline me: physically, mentally, and spiritually. For the whole 2 years God had used the school’s military system to teach me. This school is renowned for being the nation’s best place for making very tough soldiers. For its courses of discipline and training are the toughest and most difficult compared with those of other military schools. During my study there, God had always enabled me to pass every course provided by the school with flying colors til the day I graduated. If you see the movie titled “An Officer and A Gentleman” which is starred by Richard Gere, you would understand how hard and tough and difficult my life was during those two years in that military school.     

           Now I’m going to bring you to the story climax. That is, my colleagues and I had survived unscathed from a car-bomb incident during a mission in Narathiwat Province. This is one of my various survival incidents witnessing how Jesus had delivered me from uncountable injuries and deaths. I was survived by only a fraction of a second. Therefore, I can tell you that this God I worship is also called “the Savior.” This incident had indelibly imprinted in the memories of my colleagues and mine to this day:

            About 3 years ago, I was serving my country in the 3 border southern provinces of Thailand, under the Second Small Arms Platoon, First Small Arms Regiment, 32th Narathiwat Special Forces Unit, Naval Special Operations Forces, Royal Thai Navy. On 28 December 2010, I was assigned together with 3 other fellow military men to guard a vehicle used for picking up Buddhist teachers and sending them off to two schools in the area of our responsibility. We had to make 2 rounds of picking up and sending off for there was teaching time difference between these 2 schools. There was nothing unusual happen on the first round. However, on the second round, our enemies had set off car-bombs to detonate our vehicle. I was sitting on the right side of a pick-up truck with my back to the vehicle’s cockpit and my face gazing in the opposite direction. This side I was sitting was the exact side the bomb fragments splashing directly on our vehicle. God had protected me and my colleagues for the detonation had occurred only a fraction of a second before our truck was in the bombing range. And after the detonation, our truck had already run passed the exploding bombs only a little bit, resulting in a lot of bomb fragments showering on our truck’s head. However, miraculously our vehicle had not been fully affected by the car-bombs. And moreover, we were in the range too close to be fully affected by the splashing of exploding bombs. Thank God that all of us had not at all been injured except the driver who had a bit ringing in his ears.

             Now I’m sure all of you have already realized that how powerful my God named “Jesus Christ” is.

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