LUCOM hosts local Vietnam veteran for weekly convocation
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) welcomed Lynchburg native and Vietnam veteran, David N. Harker, to convocation this past month delivering a message on the importance of loving one another.
Harker was drafted into the United States Army and deployed to Vietnam while attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) in June of 1967. During his service, he was wounded by an explosive device. “Lying there, I was certain I was going to die, I was scared to death, and there was fear in my heart,” he said. “And a miracle happened, the word of God came to me. ‘To live is Christ and to die is gain.’ God gave me that verse and He comforted me.” Harker, despite multiple attempts to escape, was captured by the opposition on January 8, 1968. “Here I was facing a situation that you cannot even be prepared for and what is sad to me is that there are so many people in this world that are not prepared for death and it can come at any instant.”
Discussing how human history continues to be involved in the continuation of different wars, Harker emphasized the most important one is the spiritual war. “It is easy when you have a weapon to fight the enemy. As a Christian, the Bible is the only weapon we need.”
Harker shared the battle waging in the United States (US) is being fought over the constant choosing of right and wrong. He expressed his displeasure in the lack of unity within the United States and how critical Americans have become of one other. “The Bible says, ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’”
A main point in Harker’s message was to encourage student-doctors that the medical profession is one where people will seek them out, regardless of their skin color, religious beliefs, gender, or financial status. “Scripture commands us, ‘Love each other. Just as I have loved you,’” he added. “Our comfort comes from God, not whether we are right or wrong.”
Harker was detained as a prisoner of war (POW) for nearly five years and released on March 5, 1973. He then returned to Virginia Tech and finished his degree.