#101 – The Dragon That Saved a United States Veteran

Photo by 順平 黃 on Unsplash

Imagine if you will.

Having to drink your own urine to fight dehydration.

So little food that you can count the number of grains of rice for dinner.

Imagine taking part in a daily dance, called the Death March, where you are tasked with holding a heavy object over your head and the moment you drop the object, your life ends.

This was the fate of three hundred brave American soldiers that were captured by the Chinese during the Korean War.

In October 1950, Chinese troops under the name of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (CPV) crossed the Yalu River to assist North Korean armies, and engaged in the Korean War in an offensive manner after the U.S. troops crossed the 38th parallel.

Of these soldiers, only one survived.

His name was Richard Dragon. His last name became his savior.

The Chinese soldiers tortured him, not believing this to be his last name. He wouldn’t budge. It was the truth and the last card he could play to save his life.

It was is ace of spades. The highest and most valuable card.

Eventually, he was free to go.

The Dragon has important symbolism to the Chinese. It is believed that the dragon has power and valiancy. It possesses excellence and determination, dignity, and divinity. A dragon is believed to have the powers to overcome obstacles to see success. The dragon is spirited, confident, enthusiastic, intelligent, and determined.

Richard Dragon endured years and years of PTSD. However, he found art in his later years. He would go on and paint beautiful ocean scenes. Although none of his work is public, his son, Patrick Dragon is one of the world’s most renowned ceramists. Some of his work is even in the White House.

Although Richard Dragon was the only survivor in his battalion, his brothers didn’t die in vain.


My mother said, it’s our cultural belief that when a warrior dies fighting for his people, his place is reserved in the afterlife. I hope it’s true.

War of any kind is two opposing forces and two opposing ideas having the total and unequivocal assurance that they are on the right side.

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche

I hope humanity can come to an agreement that we are one. It’s a pipe dream, but one I’ll hold onto until I take my last breath.


We all have an ace of spades. It’s probably been played numerous times without your consent, as it did for Mr. Dragon.

However, the biggest hand has already been played for each of us.

You are here.

Being alive and having the experience of now is its own prize.

With love,
Anand

I write articles, stories, and poetry on well-being. Subscribe below to get on my free newsletter so my work can be delivered directly to your inbox. Thank you for visiting.

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2 Comments

  1. Wonderful story! How blessed we are to have met you! The lessons old ones can learn from the young!

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