PFC Harold Buchanan and His Kairos Moments

 In History, Veterans

PFC Harold Buchanan was just 18 years old in 1943. He was on leave for three days to say goodbye to his friends and family in Missouri before being shipped out to WWII. As he drove down the narrow road, he spied something. (Tri-City Herald)

He parked his 1935 Chevy carefully at the edge of the road to make sure no one would hit his car.

“There was a valley, we called it a gully, kind of in a rough area with a sharp curve. When I went around that curve, I looked and I saw something on the side of the road. I didn’t know what it was so I went on down a bit to where I could pull out of the road.”

The road was paved, but the curve stood above a ravine that was deep and dangerous. You’d have to pull over to let another car pass. But what did Harold see?

“It was a tiny, little baby laying right there on the side of the road. I didn’t see anything else right at that moment but that little baby, so I picked it up. My mother was waiting in the car and I came over and handed the baby to her. There were no cars that came while I was doing that, but easy they could have run over that baby.” 

Then he looked for a source as he peered over the edge – a red convertible lay at the bottom of the ravine. He quickly climbed down the steep hillside and over rocks, to find a young woman pinned under the car, her husband thrown clear, but with injuries.

It was 1943 – no cell phones. Now what?

“I only weighed 121-pounds then. So I have no idea, other than the help of the good Lord, how I bent down and raised up that car and pulled the lady out! Her leg was bleeding, so I ripped off the sleeve of my shirt and I tied it around her leg in an attempt to stop the blood from flowing.”

With an undaunted spirit, he managed to get both the woman and her husband back up the ravine and get them medical help in the next town over. They were then whisked away to a hospital 50 miles away.

PFC Harold Buchanan went on to be a part of General Patton’s Company D – but stayed stateside for the remainder of the war as  a cook for the training camps. Though he was busy, the memory of what happened that day remained vivid, and he often wondered what happened to the baby girl.

One day a couple of years ago, during a downpour of rain, a couple needed to get on the road to their destination in Missouri. Harold offered his umbrella to the woman while her husband ran off to get his fifth wheel so her could pull up close to pick her up.

When Harold, who is now 93,  asked her where they were going, she replied “Ava,” the same place Harold grew up.

“And she said, ‘Yes, I was born there.’ Oh, she almost went into orbit! She said, ‘My daddy and mother have told me the story about when they had a wreck and I fell out of the car, and I was on the road and you picked me up!'”

Being in the right place at the exact right time: for PFC Harold Buchanan, it was a Kairos moment sent from God.

Featured photo: screenshot via Tri-City Herald, photo provided by Jorene Ewald and Harold Buchanan


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