Military service helped priest ‘grow up,’ deal with life’s ‘realities’

(CNS) There’s nothing like aimed shots from a zeroed-in, Soviet-made sniper rifle cracking over your head or auguring into the sand around you to clear one’s mind on staying alive.

That’s how Peter Smith reacted in 1976 when his South African army rifle platoon engaged insurgents in northern Namibia.

“There’s nothing like the possibility of sudden death to help one focus on what’s really important,” said the former infantryman who, at age 18, saw the opportunities of life before him and death an infinity away. “The experience really helped my self-confidence, and it helped me grow.” [More]

SOURCE

Catholic News Service