By Debbie Gregory.
Those who serve in the U.S. military often have a story to tell when they come home. But John Bennett’s story may be one of the oddest stories with a happy ending that you’ve ever heard.
The young Army medic, just 20-years-old, was serving in Vietnam when he was struck by lightening and declared dead. Quite a coincidence, as Bennett’s high school nickname was “Lightning” due to the speed he ran in track.
The only thing was, he was still alive. He proved that wen sometime between 18 and 24 hours later, he woke up, in a morgue, in a body bag.
When Bennett regained consciousness, he used his knife to cut himself out of the body bag.
“Around me were many litters with body bags on them just like mine. I didn’t know if I was in enemy or friendly hands. I was in shock. I had always been so very cognizant of my surroundings and now I was in a place I could not identify and had no idea of how or why I was here.”
“What went through my mind is, ‘How did this happen, and how did I miss this?’” Bennett said.
In an understandable state of confusion, Bennett grappled to understand where he was and why he was there until someone came in and found him.
When he was asked what his problem was, Bennett replied, “You tell me!”
They retrieved the body tag, which said that Bennett had been killed in action — struck by lightning.
His battalion was preparing to name a bunker after their fallen comrade.
Phillip Kissinger, the chaplain for Bennett’s platoon, vaguely remembers writing a letter to Bennett’s parents informing them of their son’s death.Unfortunately, a letter to correct the erroneous declaration was never sent.
That letter reached his parents, but another letter correcting it was never sent out.
Bennett was able to get a message to his father by radio, weeks after his family had mourned his passing.
Fortunately for Bennett’s wife, who was eight months’ pregnant at the time, no one sent her a letter regarding her husband’s fate.
And if this story wasn’t already incredulous, after the war, the career Bennett chose? Electrician! You couldn’t make this up!