I saw her today. Judy S. was undergoing an upper endoscopy but I asked her to re-tell the story of how her soldier son-in-law in Iraq was saved by her deceased father.
She began and slowly teared up.
She described how Johnny told reported that he was resting in his barrack bunk when he tried to get up and go to the PX to buy some candy. He felt as if he was being held down buy a force exerted against his chest. He closed his eyes, then opened them. Pushing on his chest was elderly but powerful built gray-haired man wearing a black T-shirt with a yellow image of the Police Benevolant Association, gray shorts and sneakers. He said to him, "you can't go, she needs you".
He then disappeared and shortly afterwards there was a tremendous explosion. The PX had been bombed. Many GIs were hurt, a few killed.
Months later Johnny returned to the States and told the story to Judy, his then future mother-in-law and other family members. Crying Judy grabbed a family album and opened to a picture of her deceased father who was wearing exactly what Johnny had described. Johnny had never seen that album before. "That's him! That's the man who pinned me down to my bunk that day in Iraq. I probably would have been killed that day."